Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That, or tentacles – because it’s certainly not Sarah Kerrigan’s disposition that keeps cowboy-turned-space-marine Jim Raynor chasing after his queen in Blizzard’s Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
We’re not spoiling anything you haven’t already seen on any of the game’s trailers – or box art. Kerrigan is back and ready to lead her squishy-sounding army of Zerg to victory once again, flattening out any speed bumps in her way within one of the three plots Blizzard knows how to write nowadays: The good old Revenge Quest.
If this isn’t a tease of Diablo III’s expansion, we’ll eat our rare Wizard hats.
Like many of the one-sided NPCs that appear within Blizzard’s third summer-vacation‑to‑Hell, it sure feels as if there’s something special lurking beneath Diablo III—once you get behind all the odd trappings and poor design decisions, that is. If you’re new to the series, the game goes something like this: See evil, click on evil, kill evil. Repeat 100,000 times. That’s Diablo.
While it’s difficult to compare the widely differing architectures of consoles, PC’s, and phones, most experts agree we have almost reached hardware parity. Activision is the latest “expert” to chime in on the debate, and claim that by the time next-generation of smartphones hit the market, they will indeed have the equivalent amount of raw graphical grunt as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This has the company looking long and hard at its 30-year portfolio of more than 350 IP’s to see what would work well in the mobile space. Vice President of mobile development, Greg Canessa met with the guys over at CVG, and detailed what they have in store for the future.
Blizzard Entertainment, the company behind the insanely popular World of Warcraft franchise and, more recently, Diablo III, confirmed that it's Battle.net game service suffered a security breach that compromised certain user data. The full extent of the hack attack is still unknown, but at this stage, Blizzard doesn't believe that any financial data was lifted, including credit card info, billing addresses, or real names.
In a recent interview with Valve CEO Gabe Newell, the outspoken unofficial head of PC Gaming leveled some pretty damning criticism on Windows 8. Using words such as “catastrophe”, the internet instantly lit up with story’s and comments that for the most part, were largely supportive of his radical stance. It could easily be argued that his comments are largely self-serving since Microsoft is setting itself up in direct competition with Valve’s Steam store, but people will have to decide for themselves. Why bring up old wounds you ask? Valve has a new supporter.
Despite its record-setting sales success, Diablo III has seen its fair share of criticism. Yesterday saw a damning new accusation leveled at Blizzard: several Battle.net and WineHQ forum users claimed that they'd been banned from the game simply for playing it on Linux, using Wine. The flames fanned rapidly, with the thread rapidly growing to over 45 pages in length in less than 20 hours. But is Blizzard really swatting the banhammer at Linux lovers?
With May 15th less than two weeks away, it's no surprise that the Diablo III hype train is starting to chug along at full speed. Blizzard opened the game's doors to everybody with a Battle.net account for an open beta a couple of weekends back, and in the past few days, the company has released a slick new TV trailer and unveiled the fee structure for Diablo III's controversial auction house item-selling feature. (You know, the one that "forced" Blizzard to invoke always-on DRM, even for single player mode.) Are you ready to get gouged?
As recovered WoW addicts, we're still not entirely sold on Mists of Pandaria as fuel to rekindle our old flame, but we are certain of one fact: we like pretty things. At the very least, WoW: MoP (which sounds like some sort of as-seen-on-TV miracle cleaning device) has some serious good looks going for it. The game engine may be rapidly approaching its eighth birthday, but you wouldn't know it based on Blizzard's stellar art direction. Gleaming green forests, towering Chinese temples, a dungeon full of knife-fighting monkeys – what else do you really need? A release date? Well, we don't have that. But we do have four trailers. That's better than one measly release date, right? Don't answer that.
After conducting a review of its business and analyzing "current organizational needs," Blizzard made the tough call to axe around 600 employees, the game developer and publisher announced this week. Only about 10 percent of those pink slips will be handed out to workers in departments related to game development, and of those roughly 60 workers, none of them will be from the World of Warcraft team.
Diablo III's beta is nice and all, but in this case, that's the problem. The mean streak Diablo I and II players so fondly remember has seemingly had its edges rounded and then carved into perfect replicas of each of the Carebears. Blizzard, however, is quick to note that Normal mode hardly even scratches the surface of Diablo III's penchant for inflicting grievous harm on both your character and your pride. The hell-bound hack 'n' slash will apparently slice and dice players with all manner of nastiness on higher difficulties, and Blizzard's even gone so far as to release a video detailing the entire gruesome process. Aptly titled “You Will Die. We Promise,” it's basically a couple minutes of various developers promising that you will die. So that's cheery. Check it out after the break.