Words can hardly express my emotions right now. Hard to believe we’ll be back in the HEV suit of Gordon Freeman in less than 2 weeks!
A short but sweet post on the Black Mesa forums reads:
We’re freaking out over here! It is so exciting to share this news with you!
You can now Download the Black Mesa Soundtrack, courtesy of our very own Joel Nielsen, at the very generous price of whatever you want! Enjoy and share!
In the near future you’ll see our Website, Wiki and Forums all taken down temporarily for renovations.
On September 14th you will see the first release of Black Mesa! This will include our re-envisioning of Half-Life all the way up to Lambda Core. We believe this is a great way to provide a complete-feeling 8-10 hour experience with a solid ending, make our fans happy and help us make the best overall game possible.
We are still working hard on Xen and BMDM, but instead of making you wait we are giving you Black Mesa as soon as it’s ready! We’re doing our best to help bring the immense vision of this project into reality, and we are very excited for what the future brings!
Carlos Montero – Project Leader
For those of you not in the know, Black Mesa is a re-envisioning of Valve’s classic shooter, Half-Life. It’s pretty much built from the ground up with all new voice acting, models, textures, maps, animations, etc. All this and more built on the ever popular Source engine. The team states the first release will chalk up around 8-10 hours worth of gameplay.
Not too shabby considering it’s a free product. You can also download the official Black Mesa soundtrack here.
For more information, media and a chance to soak up this incredible news, head on over to the official website.
Mann vs. Machine is a new co-operative game for Team Fortress 2 that lets you and five friends wage a desperate battle to stop a lethal horde of robots from deploying a bomb in one of Mann Co.’s many strongholds. Take advantage of breaks between waves to upgrade your abilities and weapons. Survive all the waves in any of a variety of missions to earn incredible loot.
Here’s a friend and I giving the new mode a workout ^
Snail Games are behind the mystical looking Age of Wushu, a new Free-to-play MMO set during the Ming Dynasty at the peak of the Chinese feudal empire.
Age of Wushu gives players will have the opportunity to join and learn from one of 8 ancient martial art schools from the good-natured Shaolin to the evil and mysterious Tangmen. Utilising physics-defying combat. Players will battle bandits, warlords, and each other in historical cities and across a breath-taking landscapes. Jet Li, the martial arts superstar is also on board to promote the game, which has racked up over 10 million users in China alone.
The game is currently in beta in China and is set to launch in UK, Europe and the US over the coming months.
In the meantime, here’s the US launch trailer.
More information can be found on the official website
Blimey rimey, this is some sexy shit yo. Although, the cynical tech/eyecandy whore in me says the retail game will look nowhere near as splendid. Either way, soak it up.
I was recently approached by Tom Tolladay, who very kindly offered to write an article for the site based on game franchises and their impact on the gaming industry. Read on for some thought provoking stuff.
HAVE GAME FRANCHISES DESTROYED THE GAMING INDUSTRY?
With highly acclaimed game franchises- Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, Max Payne, to name but a few- seemingly dominating the video gaming landscape, avid players should feel more than satisfied with the quality of games being churned out by the world’s biggest publishers, shouldn’t they?
After all, Call of Duty continues to smash records with each new addition released, so surely this proves fans are happily sated with helpings of what they know and love, right? Not so according to a small clique of frustrated gamers who question the dominance of publishers and their ruling franchises.
The counter-argument concerns consumer choice: are these giant, successful franchises inadvertently hindering the chances of smaller, independent publisher’s ever developing and releasing new titles in the near future and thus limiting the variety of games being displayed through the shop window? Are gamers happy to own say three or four games and keep purchase updated versions through lack of choice?
To answer such a contentious issue we need to think objectively: look at the current situation from both points of view- the consumers and the publishers- and pluck possible answers out along the way.
Firstly, let’s consider the game publishers themselves, those who stand accused of damaging the video game industry. We’ll use Activision as an example.
Activision is the world’s largest third-party developer by a mile. Since the 1980s they’ve successfully created and marketed franchise series’ such as Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, Crash Bandicoot and Sypro the Dragon, on all console platforms from the original Playstation to the Xbox 360. So why then are they so happy to stick with the winning formula and release updated versions of successful games?
No surprise money making comes into it. But past financial gain has always given publishers the impetus to develop new games, so what’s changed? Well ‘the business strategy’ that’s what.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision’s sister company Activision Blizzard- creators of World of Warcraft- brashly alluded to his businesses model when in 2008 he said Activision would focus solely on franchises that “have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million franchises.
“Whether he expected such a strategy to be implemented in the next five or twenty years becomes irrelevant when you consider that Activision has since targeted producing a new Call of Duty game every year from 2011 onwards.
The plan hence alludes to excluding the future development of new IP’s deemed too risky for a subsequent sequel release. But draining as much money as possible from a successful game franchise, by over saturating the market with constant releases, doesn’t always work – just look at Guitar Hero!
Despite their apparent unwillingness to develop and invest in new IP’s, you can’t blame the publishers for sticking with what they know. It sort of makes sense if you consider the economic constraints currently plaguing the industry.
After all the worlds in the midst of a financial woe; publishers are weary about investing in one-off successes for fear of unbalancing the books and gamers are looking twice before starting to purchase. It’s just a shame this has bred a kind of ‘make as much money as possible, while we can’ ethos.
For consumers the argument concerns choice: stroll into any game shop or click on any website and consumers will squint at the same banal rehashes as before, with little or no room made for original, new game titles to gain prominence.
The emergence of Downloadable Content (DLC) doesn’t seem to be helping the situation either, proving just as irksome an issue to gamers. Although it’s a relatively new concept game publishers have seemingly found another way to pry open a gamers’ wallet, by releasing ‘must have’ content which supposedly enhances something in some dazzling way?!
Unfortunately, with old Bobby Kotick signifying a more exploitive approach in the near future, gamers should not expect the market to change drastically any time soon- except maybe the actual price of titles.
But let’s not get too worked up about this. The development and embellishment of game franchises has been going on since Shigeru Miyamoto created Mario in the 80s (still wonder how an idea for a super hero plumber crept into his mind). You could even argue that Sonic, Mario and Donkey Kong saved the industry, at a time when the market was saturated with small, frankly boring games- that’s for another post maybe.
So, what are your thoughts on this? Feel free to sign up and post your comments.
Drama, Red Coats, the American Revolution. Oh, and an Assassin. Soak it up.
Like sharks, blood, gore, stealth and stealing treasure? Good, then Depth is for you. Coming soon!
After another rumour of Doom 4′s cancellation and now a bunch of unofficial screenshots have found their way online, Bethesda still says that Doom 4 is still in development. I personally think the game is very much alive, and from what I can see they are using the same engine as Rage, and with that could bring low res textures and static maps.
Judge for yourself. View the rest of the gallery here
As part of the active open development the team at Zero Point Software has released a new version of their work in progress game Interstellar Marines and a new Trailer explaining the new features, you can check the game info and join the community at www.interstellarmarines.com
Here we have a new Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City gameplay trailer. Just look at those moves! The game is released in North America and Europe on March 23rd for PS3 and Xbox 360 and May 18th on PC.
- Black Mesa to be released on 14th September 2012
- Valve releases Mann vs Machine hoard mode for TF2
- Age of Wushu F2P MMO launches
- Cry Engine 3 tech reveals Top Secret Tessellated Toads
- Game franchises and their impact on the industry
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