Here in the red-pill real world, the scenery’s a bit hit and miss. For every beautiful beach resort, there are a hundred ho-hum forgettable towns. Multiplayer maps in blue-pill PC gaming land suffer from the same problem. It shouldn’t come as a surprise; with hundreds of games sporting thousands of maps, most of them are bound to be filler. A few diamonds manage to rise above the mountain of coal, however, and they offer an amazing experience that simply begs to be played over and over again, preferably while wearing bright blue megaarmor and wielding a rocket launcher.
Apps, apps, apps. All we talk about is apps, it seems. Week and week out, I try to throw out a list of five different applications--usually themed around some particular scenario--that give you untold access to your system in new and exciting ways. Well, mostly exciting. Let's face it. Sometimes, an app is just an app. It's a useful, free utility, but nothing to throw a party or write home about.
So, that in mind, how about some games?
There's nothing more fun--and more detrimental to one's professional life--than sinking hours after countless hours of playtime into a persistent digital world. That's right, I'm talking about MMOs. The problem, however, is that there are simply too many free MMOs to choose from. If you're intending on spending a significant amount of your personal life in some digital dungeon or what-have-you, you don't want to do it for a crappy game that nobody is playing. You want an awesome game.
I have taken it upon myself to find five free MMOs with such a characteristic--awesome--and am happy to announce the results of my findings below. I wish you the best as you go forth in the grand tradition of surrendering your social life to slay digital... well, everything. Digital everythings. Right.
If you're the type who likes to shoot first and ask questions later in your BioWare RPGs, then a recent job listing from the role-playing powerhouse might get your trigger finger itching something fierce. After embracing the other, more explosive meaning of the “RPG” acronym with Mass Effect 2's shooter sections, it looks like BioWare might be adding a full-blown multiplayer mode to Mass Effect 3.
BioWare Montreal – which describes itself as "working on Mass Effect, one of the industry's most beloved and acclaimed franchises, as we build our way toward becoming a fully self-sufficient BioWare studio" – is hiring multiplayer programmers, who are being asked to “take existing single player user experiences and make them multiplayer safe,” among other things.
When reached for comment, BioWare only replied that Mass Effect 3 is in the early stages of development, and refused to confirm or deny anything. Still though, the job listing seems like pretty solid evidence to us, so we're holding out hope. After all, we'll root for anything that could potentially allow us to blast Garrus in the face for each and every time he blew us off in favor of his precious “calibrations.”
In our opinion, no artistic medium offers a better opportunity to express a PC gamer’s individuality and inappropriate sense of humor like a personal decal “spray” projected on your enemy’s spawn room wall during a multiplayer match. While Valve has made it a mostly painless process to import spray images into their Source engine-based games, the difficulty still lies in creating an original image you can be proud to vandalize next to an enemies corpse. And since no game offers more opportunities to grief friends and enemies than Left 4 Dead, we’re going to show you a flawless technique for creating your own ‘writing on the wall’, pun absolutely intended.
Remember Myst Online? You shouldn't. GameTap shut the servers for the fumbling MMO in the beginning of this year, leaving plenty of fans of massively multiplayer online puzzle-solving out in the cold. Until the rights were returned to Cyan Worlds, which promptly promised to resurrect the MMO under the clever acronym of MORE -- the Myst Online Resurrection Experiment. Which was all fine, until funding difficulties killed the project once again. Which has since been resurrected again (surpassing Jean Gray's record), this time as a result of Cyan Worlds turning the entire Myst Online platform over to the open source community.
Strangely, this is the first big announcement from any of the "larger" MMOs that involves open source in any fashion. When an MMO dies, it usually dies for good, regardless of how persistent the fan base is toward resurrecting the fallen title into a working project.
Click the link and come into the strange, shifting world of open-source MMOs!
Face it, pirates and ninjas are out and zombies are in. And we have no doubt that one of our most high-anticipated games of this year is Left4Dead, Valve’s post-apocalyptic survival horror shooter. Our initial playtest sent chills down our spine when we first saw it at last year’s Showdown LAN, and the game looked much more refined and polished when we played it at this year’s E3. A revamped visual style and new character designs suit the cinematic direction -- the levels looked grittier and the zombies were definitely more terrifying (if that’s even possible). We spoke with Michael Booth, the designer of Left4Dead, to find out what other changes have been made to the game since Valve bought up his development team.
With the price of oil surpassing $100 a barrel, the apocalypse imagined
in Frontlines: Fuel of War may not be so far away. In this vision of
the future, the world’s remaining superpowers—split between two
factions—clash in a winner-take-all war for Earth’s last oil reserves.
Lucky for us, this makes a great backdrop for some intense multiplayer
Since the last Unreal Tournament game was released four years ago,
no worthy contender has managed to dethrone the now-classic shooter as
the best game for online deathmatches. With the much-delayed Unreal
Tournament 3, we get the uneasy feeling that Epic Games has grown a bit
complacent with its multiplayer crown. The game’s brand-new graphics
engine and glut of maps mask some very familiar weapons and gameplay
mechanics. And while we appreciate that the developers haven’t broken
from a proven design formula, we’re disappointed by the lack of
innovation in this long-awaited sequel.
All right, newblet. You’ve eaten your dog food in Wolfenstein 3D, done your spirit quest in Prey, and even managed to set up a bomb or two in Counter-Strike. If first-person shooters were massively multiplayer role-playing games, that might qualify you to step out of the kindergarten zone. Maybe. The big leagues of head shots, m-m-m-monster kills, and first-person-shooter fragfests have no room for subpar playing performance.
When we think of Quake games, we think of fast-paced deathmatches in
their purest no-nonsense form. In Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the
latest iteration of the shooter franchise, that visceral run-and-gun
experience still makes up the foundation of gameplay, but the
integration of deep teamplay tactics and mission objectives makes this
a whole new multiplayer animal. The meld of cooperative squadplay and
frenzied firefighting makes for compelling matches, but both deathmatch
and tactical purists may find themselves in slightly unfamiliar