If you’re looking for a modern-day recreation of the Baldur’s Gate series—or, really, any of those isometric Infinity Engine games of yesteryear—then Divinity: Original Sin might appear as if it has the potential to satisfy your old-school gaming urges, at first glance.
Go for the eyes, Boo! Go for the eyes! Just don't go for the wallet, or the checkbook, which is exactly what you'll feel most bad about doing when you splurge for this modern update to an RPG classic. We love Baldur's Gate, we really do; we also love games that are appropriately priced, and the $25 that Beamdog asks for what feels like a handful of improvements isn't worth it. And you can thank Gog.com for that...
The crew teaches the Canadian intern how to play an RPG
The interns have re-assembled for the second episode of the Interncast, and this time around the crew discusses Windows 8.1 and the new features it brings, Sony’s gigantic 6.4” Xperia Z Ultra phone and whether or not that's too big for a phone, and also argued over the proper way to play role-playing games.
OUR SHEPARD LOOKS like hell. He’s got shadows under his eyes that’d frighten the seediest of back‑alley dwellers. Even when he smiles—for instance, while warmly embracing an old friend—there’s a palpable weariness to the gesture. This man, this hero we’ve piloted through countless near-apocalyptic trials and tribulations, is at the end of his rope. The Reapers have decided that all organic life is ripe for the picking, and Earth’s looking mighty juicy. Shepard’s got the weight of the entire universe on his shoulders, and little by little, every agonized step forward breaks his back a bit more.
After playing through Mass Effect 3, we look a lot like our Shepard, but for different reasons. We clearly haven’t slept, and basic hygiene has become so foreign a concept that we reply to the word “shower” with, “Yeah, it’s about 4:27 p.m.” Mass Effect 3, you see, is one of those experiences. By no means is it perfect, but it’s a tale so gripping as to have its own gravitational pull. It's Shepard’s darkest hour, and we had no intention of seeing the sun until its credits roll.
Ever dreamed of a vacation on a tropical island paradise? Ever dreamed of a vacation consisting of bludgeoning, shattering, stabbing, slashing, shooting, burning, electrocuting, and exploding hordes of bathing-suit clad zombies? Well, then Techland's latest open-world first-person survival horror action RPG (whew) is perfect for you!
While we’re gearing up for the dragon-slaying awesome that is said to permeate The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, it never hurts to take a peek back at the past. Part of Oblivion’s allure lies in its massive game world, a world made even larger by the utterly insane number of well-written books scattered around the land. Even more insane, one enterprising DIYer gathered all of those documents and created a real-life tome comprised of every book Oblivion offers.
Like Origins, Dragon Age II is a 50-plus-hour epic with a deep, complex combat system and a well-defined supporting cast. But it also wears its mythology proudly, confident in its goal of charting the rise of a complete and utter badass: you.
The first time you control Hawke—the hero—is in an opening flashback to your family’s escape from the Darkspawn attack on Lothering, which occurred in the first game. Dragon Age: Origins’ free battlefield camera is now gone, but at least the mouse-wheel scroll still grants the zoom you need to see the full field. Pausing, issuing a set of orders, then sitting back and watching the chaos unfold remains a joy that never gets old.
New research suggests that Internet addiction on college campuses may be a bigger problem than many are willing to admit.
"Virtual gaming, where participants take an identity, has exploded in the past 10 years, particularly among 18 to 30 year olds," Sabrina Neu, a graduate school student at the University of the Rockies wrote in her doctoral dissertation. "Online game subscriber numbers are in the millions and profits for game developers are in the billions of dollars.
"The student lifestyle, with unlimited Internet access, large blocks of unstructured time, and absence of supervision, may place students at greater risk for over-utilization."
Neu did note several potential benefits to online gaming, such as players being able to overcome shyness and/or free themselves from physical disabilities, but also noted that it's common for college kids to lose sleep, miss meals, skip class, and withdraw from social interaction because of excess online game playing.
"Despite many pro-social benefits, there is also a harmful side," Neu said. "Players can suffer consequences such as neglecting friends and family and arranging one's real world life to fully accommodate game playing."
Originally released in February 2009, Acclaim's MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn has gone into a redevelopment stage. This is expected to carry into 2010 and will include a bevy of enhancements and changes as the game morphs from a monthly subscription model into a free-to-play title supported by micro-transactions.
In the meantime, Acclaim tells us it still has its servers running the original version and has decided to make Spellborn free to play.
"We felt like people missed out. They didn't get to see what Spellborn was really like. And we are going to fix that," David DeWald, Community Manager for Acclaim, wrote in an email.
While the original version remains 'frozen in time' and free to play, note that there will be no upgrades or patches.
Our help was needed—again. Such is the fate of a hero. In the world of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures all manner of fishermen, pirates, merchants, guards, beer wenches, and assorted ne’er-do wells require assistance. This motley cast of characters imbues the game with a vibrant sense of life; we just wish that they showed even a bit of initiative and took care of some of their own problems. We were tasked with passing along loads of messages in order to drive the story forward, but in truth, we quickly lost interest in the game’s narrative, as it simply took away from the game’s finest achievement: its fighting system.