MMOs are a dime a dozen these days, but what about quality MMOs that don’t even cost a dime? Those, of course, are a tad harder to come by. That’s where Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited comes in. Formerly a subscription-based MMO, DDO’s knocking down its “You Must Have This Much Disposable Income to Enter” gate and letting everyone join the party. Thinking that’s all DDO has going for it, however, would be a grievous mistake. Why? Well, we’ve got exactly five reasons. Convenient, right?
1. Anyone can play it – No, seriously, anyone. During our time with the game, we were amazed at how carefully Turbine smoothed over many of the bumps on the road to MMO enjoyment. Most noticeably, the game now includes a context-sensitive hint system that nudges you in the right direction based on what you’re doing. So say you’re stumbling through your first dungeon and walk right into a fire elemental. Demonstrating your incredible knowledge of cultural idioms, you decide to fight fire with fire, literally. This, however, only heals the elemental. In this case, the game would point out that you’re doin’ it wrong, and tell you to use a different type of spell.
The game also includes pre-generated class paths for players who don’t understand D&D’s rule set, and dungeons that tailor themselves to your party’s particular setup. So say, for instance, that your cleric just left the party. In any other MMO, you’d be hurting something fierce for a healer, but in DDO, the dungeon will alter its setup, making sure that your healer-less party still has a shot at success.
Is the whole thing too good to be true? Find out after the break.
Last time on Fallout 3 DLC theater, the Enclave went out with a suitably climactic bang, and next time, you’re showing aliens why they abducted the wrong armed-to-the-teeth Wastelander. And right now? A swamp. Put up against Broken Steel and Mothership Zeta, Point Lookout’s subject matter seems a bit snooze-worthy, doesn’t it? Like, if you had to choose one of them to take to prom, Broken Steel would be the really hot one, Mothership Zeta would be the easy one (Taking you back to the “Mothership” on the first date? Yowza.), and Point Lookout would be the nerdy one with the frazzled hair and the taped up glasses.
What Point Lookout lacks in appearances, however, it makes up for with personality. In fact, thanks to an excellent, well-paced plot and some fairly meaty side missions, I’d say Point Lookout is Fallout 3’s best piece of standalone DLC yet. Here’s precisely why Point Lookout is so great, arbitrarily broken down into four convenient points!
1. Location, location, location – Back in my day, DLC reused asset after asset – enemies, buildings, weapons – from its respective main game, and I liked it! But Point Lookout’s approach ain’t half bad either. Most notably, the swamp and the Wasteland are distant cousins at best, with the swamp containing more green in one plot of land than the Wasteland has in its whole 16-ish mile span. On top of that, the foggy bog is littered with brand new enemies (malformed, inbred locals that spout all sorts of campy dialog), weapons and clothing (double barrel shotgun + Confederate cap = the Mickey Mouse souvenir hat of the South), and characters. It’s also all very pretty in an “I’m really glad they haven’t invented feel, taste, and smell-o-vision yet” sort of way.
You've come this far! Why quit now? Read the rest after the break.
In honor of the fact that yesterday was Memorial Day and next week is E3, I decided to hold off on… Aw, screw it. This article’s a bit late, and I apologize. However, if you think there might be a DLC-shaped hole in your Wasteland-wandering experience but need to be absolutely sure that your $10 is going to a better place, here’s a rundown of why Broken Steel is the best piece of Fallout 3 DLC yet.
1. It’s not broken – Fallout 3 has had a bit of a tumultuous history with DLC launches, and – unfortunately – Broken Steel fits that mold perfectly. In fact, on day one, it decided to pull a Groundhog Day and peek its head out just long enough to get everyone riled up, only to let them all down. Upon attempting to download the DLC, users were met with a head-scratcher of an error (cryptographic what now?), and Bethesda had to remove the malfunctioning content from Games For Windows Live altogether. Now, though, it’s back with nary a glitch in sight. Good thing you waited to buy, huh? See -- patience really is a virtue.
Continue reading for Tesla Cannons, giant robots, and Deathclaws -- oh my!
Prince of Persia may have missed its left turn at Albuquerque en route to the PC, but that doesn’t lessen its value as a game. Inability to die and ample backtracking, though? Those might give you second thoughts about leaving your wallet unguarded around the game’s princely thief. Luckily, Maximum PC has you covered. Prince of Persia, lose the jewel case; we’re getting all up in your space.
1. DRM-free is the way to be – Once bitten, twice shy. PC gamers can’t stop ragging on EA for its use of “draconian” DRM (Will Wright’s next game won’t be out for a few years, guys! You’re getting a little excessive), but Ubisoft is attempting to nip that mistake in the bud with its announcement that Prince of Persia: Mandatory DRM Edition won’t ever see the light of day. Kudos, guys! Now please don’t use this one gift as a measuring stick for the overall effectiveness of DRM. After all, we’re talking a single drop in a bucket big enough to build a wicked-awesome sand castle. Plus, no one likes an Indian-giver.
2. Death and taxes – In Prince of Persia, you can’t die. Ever. See, as it turns out, one only needs a magical princess in order to attain immortality. (Yeah, suddenly Mario’s never-ending quest doesn’t seem so selfless.) Miss a jump? Princess Elika’s dainty, yet freakishly durable hand lashes out and saves the prince from actually discovering what’s at the bottom of one of those bottomless pits (Hint: Grues). Same goes for your totally bitchin’ triple back-flip sword-cannon ball that looked way more like you getting stabbed in the face. Really though, the prince’s person-shaped bottle of death-repellent doesn’t turn the game into an overly easy snoozefest. Since the princess’ bulging forearm tosses you back to your last checkpoint, “death” still happens. However, you’re not forced to sit through a loading screen or anything like that. Quick and simple. But…