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?
Blizzard's decision to add a real-money auction house to Diablo III prompted the developer to force users to have an active Internet connection in order to play, to cut back on possible fraud. This has caused much consternation amongst gamers. Another fraud-protection scheme has generated a new wave of anger as digital Diablo downloaders have found their games nerfed until Blizzard verifies the payment, which takes anywhere from one to three days. To make matters worse, a bug in a recent update dumps downloaders into the "Starter Edition" of the game until verification occurs.
The head of EA's Origin may take issue with Steam selling games at a steep discount -- *cough* hypocritically *cough* -- but judging by a statement from his boss, he may not have to worry about being undercut at retail forever. No, David DeMartini isn't getting fired; EA COO Peter Moore just thinks that basically all games will be free to play in the next five to 10 years.
As PC enthusiasts you have every right to be skeptical of OnLive as a service, but let’s just say we are impressed beyond belief that it works at all. Nothing will ever beat the experience you get with a tricked out PC, however anyone who has fired up Crysis on a netbook and actually given the service a fair shake knows they’ve managed the impossible. It would seem Microsoft agrees, and actually considering buying the service before it got too dangerous.
FEAR THE BANHAMMER! That's always been the response to cheaters, modders and exploiters in online games. Screw around and you'll get the boot. Unfortunately, that means that someone who plopped down their hard earned cash to play the game no longer can (even if that person is a jerkface cheater). That's part of the reason why Rockstar's approach to cheating in Max Payne 3 is so awesome; rather than swinging the banhammer, the company will let cheaters keep on playing and cheating -- but only with each other.
WHEN LOOKING FOR a tagline that will easily sell a boatload of Acer Timeline M3 notebooks, it doesn’t take much more than: “an ultrabook that will play Battlefield 3 on Ultra setting.” And it’s true, too.
The Timeline M3 will indeed play BF3 on Ultra, provided you’re comfortable with 30 frames per second. That dips a bit below our thresholds for a shooter. We preferred playing Battlefield 3 on High, which gave us 50–60fps in online play. Granted, we were only playing at the 1366x768 native resolution of the machine’s 15.6-inch panel, but that’s pretty good for a so-called ultrabook.
We say so-called ultrabook because even though it’s within the very loose parameters set by Intel, a lot of people who encounter the Timeline M3 aren’t going to think this widescreen notebook is an ultrabook. Most people equate ultrabooks with PC clones of a MacBook Air. But the definition is broader. Ultrabooks must be within a certain height, run a certain proc, reach a certain battery life rating, and come out of hibernation in a certain amount of time. The Timeline is wide—just shy of 15 inches across—so wide that it has enough space for an optical drive. There’s even room in the Timeline to sport a 7mm, 2.5‑inch drive bay. Acer doesn’t use the bay, though, instead opting for a teeny-but-fast SATA 6Gb/s Lite-On SSD in mSATA trim. Storage hogs hoping to use both bays will be heartbroken—installing a drive in the 2.5-inch bay turned off the mSATA drive.
Meticulous detail, motion-controlled swords and PC exclusivity: that's what noted sci-fi and historical fiction author Neal Stephenson is bringing to the table if his arena-style blade-dueling game, Clang, meets its $500k funding goal. Stephenson, you see, is sick of seeing guns, guns and more guns in games and he -- with the help of Subutai, his Seattle-based media company -- wants to bring back old-school sword duels in virtual form, all powered by Razer's Hydra motion controller.
With all the launch-day DLC, upgradeable options, premium packs and "microtransactions" permeating games these days, sometimes it feels like the $60 you plunk down for a new game is just the down payment. Do microtransactions hurt less if the game is free to play to being with? Crytek's betting on just that; the company plans to go the Tribes: Ascend route and focus solely on F2P titles sometime in the future, after its current slate of big box games -- like Crysis 3 -- are finished and shipped.
It's E3 time again and, as usual, the consoles are getting most of the attention. PC gamers weren't left out in the cold, though, there were plenty of great looking games shown off for our favorite platform--you just had to look a bit harder. Let us save you the trouble of seeking them out; read on for the 10 PC game trailers you've got to watch from E3 2012.
IF THEY HAVE first-person shooters in martial arts Valhalla, we’re pretty sure Tribes: Ascend is the one Bruce Lee plays. First and foremost, it’s a game about movement. In a split second, you have to judge where your jetpack-propelled, lightning-quick opponent is, where they’re going to be, and what you should do about it. You have to instinctively go with the flow, all the while never missing a beat. You must, well, be as water. Water with a jetpack. As a result, Tribes simply feels wonderful—not to mention unlike anything else on the market. Sure, it’s basically a shinier Tribes 2, but you won’t hear any dismayed cries of “Shazbot” coming from us.
What worked in previous Tribes games is in top form here. Footing it from place to place is—as you’d expect in a game subtitled “Ascend”—suicidal, so forward motion is all about deftly mixing aerial acrobatics and inertia-based “skiing.” In short, your jetpack can only play little-engine-that-could-defy-physics for a few seconds, at which point gravity rudely yanks you into free fall. Combined with Tribes’ trademark hilly terrain, however, that velocity can be transformed into your best friend instead of transforming you into paste. Simply hold the space bar to ski—typically at speeds in excess of 100 mph—in whatever direction you were headed. Shouting “wheeeeee” while going down ultra-steep inclines is optional, but encouraged.