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06/03/2007 - 06/09/2007

Five Fun Things to Play This Weekend

June 08, 2007


I has a flavor. YOU! Sitting there at your PC! Forget the Summer sunshine. The sun causes cancer* and must be avoided. (* Your computer monitor probably does, too. I recommend gaming from the next room using a wireless mouse and a pair of binoculars.) Instead of going outside and enjoying the weather, why not stay inside and play around with some of the new content we posted on FilePlanet this week? Despite the normally slow Summer months, there's actually a lot going on:

1. Play the Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2 Multiplayer Demo. Ubisoft designed this version of the game specifically for the PC: it's got more maps, new modes, and new classes not available on the console version. Personally I dig the Recon vs. Assault multiplayer mode -- it's a great twist on objective-based teamplay.

2. Join the Sword of the New World Beta [Subscriber only]. I raved about this one in a blog earlier this week. SotNW is an MMO allowing you to control up to three characters simultaneously. The graphics are gorgeous and the gameplay is wild -- get together with a couple of friends and together you can have a nine-character raid. There's nothing else like it on the market. Try it!

3. Revisit UO with the Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn Beta. Another title I dedicated a whole blog entry to, Kingdom Reborn takes the classic MMO and completely redesigns the graphical interface. Are you a current player? An old fan? New to the game? Whoever you are, you can get a free glimpse at a game that's gone strong for nearly a decade thanks to a deep economy and an amazing player community.

4. Experience a New Kind of PvP with the Fury Pre-Beta Test. Fury is on a tight beta schedule that only allows people to play during the weekend. So now's the time to dive in! This MMORPG is ALL about PvP -- you won't kill a single mob. There's a dynamic matchmaking system so you always get a fair fight and there are over 400 abilities to mix-and-match in order to create your own class. Sign up and start killin'!

5. Puzzle Out the World of Professor Fizzwizzle. Let's totally switch gears a second. Normally platform/puzzle type games are the domain of handhelds, but Professor Fizzwizzle and the Molten Mystery will keep you glued to your PC's arrow keys for hours. These levels are real brain-scratchers, and if you ever make a mistake, there's an 'undo' key that'll retrace the professor's steps Prince-of-Persia-style so that you hardly ever have to bail out of a puzzle. The graphics may be cute, but the puzzles are brutally clever. If you dig the new game Molten Mystery, try the previous game in the series, or go for something more action-oriented with Fizzball.

As always, you can Subscribe to FilePlanet for access to our closed betas or to get the quickest downloads. In fact you could start downloading all five of these games at once. Have a great weekend!

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 11:11 AM PDT
Edited on: June 08, 2007 11:12 AM PDT
Permalink

Sword of the New World Beta Begins

June 05, 2007


I has a flavor. With so many massively multiplayer games in development, and so many being imported from overseas, it's easy to lose track of everything that's happening. But there are a handful of very cool games in development, and we just landed a beta of one of the most interesting here at FilePlanet:

Play the Sword of the New World Beta! (Subscribers only)
[Click here to join FilePlanet]

Sword of the New World has a lot going for it -- including some absolutely breathtaking art -- but probably the biggest single innovation is the ability to control a party of up to three characters simultaneously. In fact, when you play Sword of the New World, you don't just play a character; you play a whole family of characters, swapping them in and out to form a new 3-character party with every adventure.

She's got guns. She knows how to use them. This seemingly simple innovation really opens up the game and gives it a unique feel. At times it plays more like Dungeon Siege than a traditional MMO. Your characters can execute some simple AI: for instance, it's awesome to be able to click a button and have all three of your characters fan out to loot an entire room in a couple of seconds, all automatically.

It sounds like controlling three characters would be overwhelming, but the game has a lot of built-in ways to make it easy. You can set the characters to all follow one leader, healing and assisting as necessary. (Yep, healing characters are smart enough to auto-heal your party.) In relatively safe areas you can also just turn your characters loose to kill anything that moves -- and hope that things don't get too sticky.

Naturally when you join up with a couple of online friends things get pretty intense pretty fast. Think about it: with just two friends you can have a nine-character party. A group of five players will field a small army of fifteen characters! If this sounds like overkill, it isn't: Sword of the New World throws dozens and dozens of monsters at you with every encounter. Your musketeers will be blasting away left and right, your elementalists will be dropping massive spells, and all hell will be breaking loose all over the screen. Yeah, Sword of the New World is not for the faint of heart, but it's a riot if you're looking for a new challenge.

But what about player-vs-player? Here, the party system gets out of control. The permutations of even just a one-on-one duel alone will make your head spin, since everyone can experiment with three different characters. When we played around with it here at FilePlanet we tried to keep our parties together, but the top PvP guys at K2 (the U.S. publisher) like to fan out, which really threw us off. The strategies can get deep.

So far Sword of the New World hasn't gotten a ton of press, but I think once people start getting their hands on this beta the word is going to spread. It takes a little while to get used to the controls but the gameplay is wildly different. Try it out and tell your friends:

Play the Sword of the New World Beta! (Subscribers only)
[Click here to join FilePlanet. You know you want to.]

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 9:57 AM PDT
Permalink

Life in the Third Person

June 04, 2007


I has a flavor. Via Kotaku I discovered this link to a dude who built a 3rd person suit. A what?

It's a suit that allows you to live your life from an over-the-shoulder or above-view perspective, the way many 3D games or MMOGs are played. First you put on a padded suit -- padded presumably because you're almost certainly going to hurt yourself. The suit has a computer monitor hanging in front of your face, which is how we will all live in the future. There's also a trio of aluminum rods (in the U.K., that's pronounced "Aluminum") extending from the back of your head, supporting a video camera. The camera's picture is broadcast to the screen in front of your face.

This thing is real.Since the camera is positioned above your head and its picture fills your complete field of vision, as soon as you put on the suit, you're living in third-person. Think about this, you deep-thought-thinkers: We are the first human generation who has ever even contemplated living in the third person. We're the videogame people. We are the first of the human race ever to be so comfortable spending hours at a time looking at our own ass. Well, technically, looking at Lara Croft's ass.

Apparently people who first don the third-person suit move tentatively and slowly as they get used to the new perspective. Then they start re-enacting what they see videogame characters do, such as running or jumping or skipping cut-scenes. Presumably once they get used to the interface they spend an hour killing rabbits until they level up. For me, the desire to take huge honking Frankenstein steps with my arms outstretched would be overpowering.

But I know what you're thinking: You're thinking to yourself, "What practical purpose could the third-person suit actually serve?" The answer, friends, is obvious.

It's built to be blogged about.

      -Fargo

Today's Geek Stuff:
Mod News:
Hardware Links Courtesy of Voodoo Extreme:

Posted by at 11:36 AM PDT
Edited on: June 04, 2007 11:40 AM PDT
Permalink

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