You didn't think escaping the three least popular letters in the alphabet would be that easy, did you? Today, Ubisoft Forum Manager "bukowski113" confirmed Spore DRM's "The Empire Strikes Back," placing yet another title under SecuROM's much-maligned rule. According to his forum post, Far Cry 2's DRM will work as follows:
You have 5 activations on 3 separate PCs.
Uninstalling the game “refunds” an activation. This process is called “revoke”, so as long as you complete proper uninstall you will be able to install the game an unlimited number of times on 3 systems.
You can upgrade your computer as many time as you want (using our revoke system)
Ubisoft is committed to the support of our games, and additional activations can be provided.
Ubisoft is committed to the long term support of our games: you’ll always be able to play Far Cry 2
In short, it's more or less unchanged from Spore's variation on the theme. We'll be buying Far Cry 2 anyway, though. After all, we just enticed a bunch of readers into taking up their pitchforks, so we feel we've done our part in the protest. DRM is bad and should be hated!
Think Spore is too short? Think Spore is too long? Think Spore is just right? Well it doesn't matter what you think; EA is putting Spore on a McDonald's diet, and the game won't stop expanding until it is the Space phase. Today's highly expected declaration -- which slaps release dates on a "Cute and Creepy" parts pack and an add-on for the aforementioned Space phase -- is only the beginning.
The Cute and Creepy set, not mincing any words, will include roughly 100 parts of both kitten-copyingly adorable and kitten-crunchingly horrifying varieties. For a mere $19.95, you can help break the record for world's fastest expansion pack when Cute and Creepy launches on November 18. It also works with Spore Creature Creator, making it the first expansion to cost more than the title it's expanding.
On the other hand, the Space pack sounds more akin to a real expansion pack. Slated for release during spring of 2009, it will see "players' space faring creatures... beam down from their spaceships to explore new planets and earn rewards for completing challenging missions" as well as "a new Adventure Creator will allow players to build and share online their own custom missions."
We were hoping EA might expand some of Spore's less-awesome stages, but hey, at least EA's heralds aren't shouting the joys of Spore: H&M. Yet.
No one can deny that StarCraft II's recently announced reverse-Voltron has officially renewed Blizzard's license to print money, but they can deny Blizzard's good intentions. Vehemently. Don't worry, though; the StarCraft crafters went out of their way to provide a few argument-dominating quotes on the off-chance you're still feeling a tad miffed about their decision.
"One of the things that [StarCraft II lead producer] Chris Sigaty was saying in interviews this weekend is that we had always planned to do two expansion packs for StarCraft II. This structure just reshuffles how we were going to do things," StarCraft rep Bob Colayco told Edge in response to the titular moo-juice allusion.
"Just to give you some context, typically with Blizzard RTSes, we release a single-player campaign that gives players just a taste of each race. The original StarCraft had 10 missions each or so for Terrans and Protoss. When we released the Brood Wars expansion pack, there was another eight or so missions for each of the missions."
Each race-focused StarCraft II release, then, includes the same number of missions -- and therefore, roughly the same amount of content -- as their unified predecessor. However, instead of a pithy 10 missions per race, the Terrans stand front and center for 30 missions, as do the Zerg and Protoss.
"Well, if you want to say 'one game' is 90 missions long, then yeah, I guess you’re only getting a third of a game each time," Colayco added. "Show me a game where there are 90 missions. We’re giving players a full-fledged single-player campaign experience included in each of the games."
See? That's no cash-grabbing scheme. That's Blizzard's sacrifice. We'd type more, but we're too busy saluting and choking back a single, glistening tear.
Quality may not always happily skip hand-in-hand with sales (See: Psychonauts, and then go buy it, please), but when it does, we wear unnaturally large smiles, ecstatic that there's justice in this cold, depressing world. You can imagine, then, that our pearly whites are on the verge of breaking free from our unhinged jaws thanks to Mythic's announcement that Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning has lured 750,000 players into its overtly war-packed world.
"Thanks to our players, the war between the Realms continues to escalate at an incredible pace," said Mythic co-founder and general manager Mark Jacobs.
And he's not just spouting nonsense from his PR-approved book of hyperbole either; Warhammer's 750k sprint has topped those of both World of Warcraft and Age of Conan, who reached similar numbers within three months and two months, respectively.
But don't start ordering Waaaagh Kool-Aid as a refreshment for WoW's funeral just yet. It should be noted that boxed copies of Warhammer Online came with a free one month voucher, cancelling out the game's subscription fee for a limited time. With the game's money vacuum soon to be fully operational, will players stick around for another month?
We sure hope so. Warhammer seems genuinely different from other MMOs, and it'd be a shame to see it sink. Also, gaming just wouldn't be fun anymore if we couldn't constantly tell our friends "It's 'hammer time," before darting off for a play session.
StarCraft 2 will likely be so great, many players will want to buy it twice. Unfortunately, however, after today's BlizzCon announcement, they'll be doing Blizzard (and themselves) a huge disservice by only making two StarCraft treks. Simply put, they'll be missing 1/3 of the spacefaring RTS' universe-spanning plot, because Blizzard has announced that StarCraft 2's campaign will clear the launch pad on three separate occasions.
Predictably, each release will focus on one of StarCraft's trifecta of races. Terrans: Wings of Liberty will be first out the gate, presumably with the national sport that is the game's multiplayer mode. Zerg: Heart of the Swarm and Protoss: Legacy of the Void, then, will be pseudo-expansion packs.
Don't get the wrong idea, though. Blizzard executive VP of game design Rob Pardo explained that the Zerg and Protoss titles will "be like expansion packs," but that they'll bombard players with content. "We want them to feel like standalone products," he said.
In order to accomplish this, each campaign will break off from the rest of the pack with its own feature set. The Zerg's flesh-crawling installment will include RPG elements, while the Protoss are going the diplomatic route. Terrans, on the other hand, seem to be getting the short end of the stick with only a Protoss mini-campaign to their name, but we'll see.
Pardo also noted that Blizzard sliced and diced StarCraft 2's campaign not for fat stacks of cash (WoW would get jealous, after all), but in order to avoid delaying the game or cutting corners on quality.
As for how long in between installments we'll be hanging from cliffs, Blizzard wouldn't say. However, knowing Blizzard, we're guessing the games will be less of a Zerg-rush and more of a Zerg-Half-Life 2 Episode Three.
“Beginning November 18th players across North America and Europe will journey with the dwarves deep into Middle-earth to reclaim the ancient kingdom of Khazad-dûm from the minions of Saruman,” said Jeffrey Steefel, executive producer of The Lord of the Rings Online.
And no, this isn't a loquacious announcement that LOTRO has slipped to November 18th, 2009 -- but that'd make far more sense than what Turbine is actually doing.
For the uninitiated (aka, those who don't read article titles), WoW: Wrath of the Lich King -- possibly the most-anticipated MMO expansion ever and one of the few 2008 PC releases that can challenge Spore to a bout of sales-fisticuffs and match the game blow-for-blow -- is crashing down the gates (and probably its own servers) on November 13th. Add to that the fact that LOTRO is basically WoW plus little big-footed people and minus about 9 million players, and you have a painstakingly composed financial suicide note ready to go.
Find out why Turbine chose to face the Lich King's wrath head-on after the break.
EndWar, a voice-controlled RTS hoping to finally end the war against finger-straining controller-based console RTSes, may soon be expanding its supply lines into PC territory. Even better, the news comes from a source PC gamers can't help but respect: former Total War dev Michael de Plater.
“Yeah,” he said, when asked if a PC version of EndWar is in the cards. “There’s no reason not to.”
"Console RTS. Crap. Next." Right? Wrong. de Plater, currently creative director on EndWar, continued:
“The stuff I worked on previously was Total War, which are PC games. In many ways, gameplay-wise, it’s a modern warfare, Tom Clancy version of Total War.”
We're not completely sold, but de Plater's words certainly put a damper on our parade of cynicism. Besides, we can't wait to talk a big game while simultaneously attempting to back it up -- and type up articles for your enjoyment, all at the same time. It'll be a nice excuse for our awfulabysmal unique RTS skills.
We don't get excited about much these days. When all we could muster over Deus Ex 3 deets was a guarded "Neat," it began to dawn on us that we might be suffering from chronic peace of mind, and that made us kind of upset, but not really. Fortunately, the kings of inapproPriate capitaLization have alerted various media outlets that they plan to trot out their highly anticipated collaborative effort on October 21. It's been all but confirmed that the LucasArts-BioWare tango has birthed a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic MMO. And we're totally stoked.
The invitation, stamped with both LucasArts and BioWare's respective logos, boasts that "The wait is over," and gives members of the press a come-hither look with promises of "the official unveiling of the game that's been rumored about for years."
Gamasutra notes that the public may not see the game until a few days after the unveiling, thanks to embargos. Even so, we're marking down the minutes until BioWare and LucasArts yank the curtain off their latest (final?) group project. We'll make sure to give you a heads-up when it happens, assuming our keyboard doesn't malfunction while it's floating in a puddle of our drool.
Series originator Warren Spector may be out and about not making Deus Ex 3, but if we had a copy of UK mag PC Zone, and if we didn't know that Warren Spector wasn't slaving away on Deus Ex 3, we'd be hard-pressed to think that he wasn't. tl;dr: The game sounds pretty cool.
According to CVG's copy of PC Zone, Eidos Montreal is developing Deus Ex 3 as a prequel to the rest of the series. Set in 2027, the game follows "average joe" Adam Jensen, a security officer doling out his particular brand of uniformed justice at a lab specializing in biomechanical augmentations -- aka, nanotech's predecessor. Fortuitously, however, Jensen's life takes a turn for the interesting when a team of "black ops commandos" storms his company's base of operations, snatches a security plan penned by Jensen himself, and uses the plan to guard a fortress kill people.
From then on, the security officer with a penchant for doomsday plans embarks on an action-packed mission full of Deus Ex's trademark fusion of RPG and FPS gameplay conventions -- with a twist. In Deus Ex 3, your stats won't directly affect your gunplay. Instead, stats will manifest themselves through "a vast array of fully upgradeable and customisable weapons," as well as weapon upgrades and character augmentations. So yes, the game is still very much an RPG.
Fortunately, the game, even in its early state, has been given a big thumbs up from Warren Spector, with members of the original Deus Ex team in consultative roles on the project.
And for lapsed fans, distraught by Deus Ex: The Invisible War's, well, everything, you'll be happy to hear that Eidos Montreal has scooped up multiple earfuls of fan complaints, sifted through them, and modified its game accordingly. For example, ammo types will return to Deus Ex's M&M style menagerie of flavors and colors, as opposed to The Invisible War's newcomer-friendly universal ammo.
Oh, the game also brings with it the controversial addition of an auto-regen health system -- ala Call of Duty -- and a cover system that takes a few pointers from Gears of War, but we'd probably post a separate news article if that wasn't the case.
Now let's just hope the game makes it out soon. Otherwise, it might end up looking a tad Jetsons by the time it hits shelves.
Crysis Warhead, despite releasing less than a year after Crysis, has received a few more oodles of critical acclaim than its predecessor. And, as a nice bonus, it also run admirably on rigs that aren't chock-full of wallet-devouring tech and don't display disturbing signs of sentience. Thus, it makes perfect sense that Crytek has decided to jab a toothpick through the multiplayer half of its latest opus and pass out some free samples.
Starting October 6th, a few quick clicks at www.mycrysis.com will provide you with an activation code for the weekend's festivities. Once signed-up, you'll have full access to Crysis Wars from 11:00 AM PDT on October 10th to 11:59 PM PDT on October 12th. To be clear, this isn't just a demo. It's the entire, 21-map multiplayer portion of the game.
“We have been extremely pleased with the reception we have received from gamers and press for Crysis Warhead,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO and President of Crytek. “Crysis Wars is definitely a big reason for this success and something we are dedicated to, not only as a part of future Crysis titles, but in terms of releasing new modes and continued support for our growing community.”
Great idea on Crytek's part. So, those of you who pirate games for "demo purposes," will temporary full access to a game put an end to your swashbuckling ways?