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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

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Apple Games Features StarCraft II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Apple Games has released a new game feature, this time entering the embattled universe of Blizzard Entertainment's recently released StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. The real-time strategy sequel continues the story of the Terrans, Zerg, and Protoss with an expanded single player campaign, and features all new units and strategies for multiplayer fans to explore. Apple's article includes comments from SC II director Dustin Browder, discussion of new unit mechanics, and a brief history of the universe shared by Protoss, Terran, and Zerg factions.

The wide variety of StarCraft II’s missions comes from lessons learned while developing scenarios for Warcraft III and its Frozen Throne expansion pack, both of which many of Browder’s team members worked on. Looking back at the original StarCraft proved useful too.

“StarCraft is considered a polished game,” Browder says, “but we learned a lot from it that we applied to the sequel. For example, the starting experience is now much different: we do in-game cinematics that immerse you in the story, and we let you walk around the bridge of a starship, where you can talk to other characters. It takes the game to a new level.”

He points out that those lessons were key to figuring out not only what worked, but also what didn’t: “We tried a lot of different things during development. For example, we tried cover systems, which have been used in first-person shooters and other strategy games, but StarCraft II is so fast-paced that they didn’t work. They made the game become stagnant.”

The team also drew on the thoughts of the many StarCraft players who fervently play the game today. “Those fans were able to educate us on what is happening now in the StarCraft world, and what they wanted to see from the sequel,” Browder says. “They helped a lot during the Beta. They were involved from the earliest stages, and they really helped us fine-tune the game based on the way the original StarCraft is currently played.”
Click over to the site below for the entire article.

Apple Games: StarCraft II
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
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Din's Curse Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

The Netbook Gamer has posted a new review of Soldak Entertainment's Din's Curse. In the game players take the role of an adventurer cursed to walk the lands in a quest for redemption. The game features 141 possible class combinations, an infinite number of dynamically generated towns, and a game world directly impacted by player choices.

From the review:

Two things about quests take this game from just an average action-oriented dungeon romp and turn it into one of my favorite and most-played games so far this year: the sheer amount of quests, and the consequences linked to just about every one.
When you enter town, you will meet up with Din, and there are also a number of other main characters such as the warmaster, alchemist, and others who will give you quests. These can be to gather items, quell an uprising, seek revenge for a misdeed, or even rescue someone trapped below.
You have limits on how many quests you can take at once, which is actually a good thing … let me explain. Soldak has created a living world in Din’s Curse, meaning it exists whether or not you are actively doing anything. So unlike shooter games where a low-level enemy’s entire existence consists of waiting inside a small room for you to arrive and kill him, in Din’s Curse that boss monster getting riled up on Level 6 of the dungeon gets more and more angry and agitated the longer he is there surrounded by his minions.
In most games you load up on quests and take them on as a matter of convenience, but in Din’s Curse if you are picking herbs for the alchemist after the warmaster told you about that uprising on Level 6, you will eventually start getting in-game messages that the uprising has erupted on Level 6 and that a town attack is imminent. If you still don’t heed this message and just think ‘I’ll just finish collecting these herbs then go save the town’, chances are half the town will be lying dead by the time you reach the surface – possibly even the alchemist who requested the herbs!
Check out the full review at the link below.

The Netbook Gamer: Din's Curse
Soldak Entertainment
Din's Curse
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Two Worlds II Magic Trailers Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump has released a set of new trailers from the upcoming fantasy RPG, Two Worlds II. The videos showcase "Magic Moments in Antaloor," and reveal several spell casting animations. Two Worlds II will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

Two Worlds II presents a totally new gamer experience, one in which 2 years of intensive development has enabled quantum leaps in all spheres: completely overhauled AI and balancing standards, experienced authors, the active combat system and the brand-new engine all combine to provide an unforgettable experience where excitement, sheer enjoyment and graphics rule. “Two Worlds II” simply sets new technical benchmarks in the RPG genre, thanks not least to its seemingly unlimited number of dynamic light sources, micro-detail Parallax Mapping, 24 Bit HDR Post Processing, Space Ambient Occlusion and Human Eye Accommodation.

Rescued from prison by former enemies, the player once again assumes control of the unnamed hero, only to find the world of Antaloor has been forever changed in their absence.

Boasting a diverse, living world and a limitless open narrative, Two Worlds II could very well be the next sleeper hit of the genre. Antaloor is a mythic world of pristine savannahs and mordant swamps, celestial cities teeming with life that will rise or fall entirely depending of the player's actions, as the reign of the implacable despot Gandohar threatens to throw the world into a state of irreversible decay.

Featuring the all-new GRACE game engine, Two Worlds II seeks to offer an immersive blend of two of the most important role playing elements - strong atmosphere and dazzling visuals. Incorporating cutting-edge technology features such as Real Eye Adaptation, HD Dynamic Motion Capture, and Multi-Source Dynamic Lighting, the world of Antaloor comes alive like never before as a true role-player’s paradise
View the new trailers at the link below.

Two Worlds II: Magic Moments
Two Worlds II
Buy Two Worlds II

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World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm Previewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Strategy Informer has posted a new preview of Blizzard Entertainment's Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft. Cataclysm will allow players to adventure as two new playable races, bring their characters to level 85, take on challenging quests and dungeons in all-new zones, and experience dramatic changes to familiar aspects of the game in the wake of a world-shattering disaster.

The worgen quest chains take you away from the Gilneas City and out into the sticks, so to speak, where we also get a glimpse at the arrival of this world shattering Cataclysm. An entire invasion by the Forsaken is thwarted thanks to a massive earthquake that gobbles up the coast and obliterates their naval fleet. It was here an interesting quest popped up that had me rescuing drowning militia from the water. You had to carry NPCs back to the shore and you did so by having them thrown over your shoulder – it’s nice to see Blizzard is really making head way in getting more unique interactions for their quests now. Before you are forced to leave the city you get played a special cut scene which shows you changing into a worgen for the first time, though unfortunately it wasn’t included yet in the beta – but they did write us a note. Suddenly we’re outside in the stocks and given a potion that lets us control our bestial nature. It's here we have a quick chat with major NPCs again.

Eventually the worgen quests lead to a crossing with the druids who show your character how to permanently dominate your new shape shifting predicament and it's how the worgen race comes to be accepted into the Alliance. Eventually things lead back to Gilneas City where Blizzard have cooked up a huge showdown between the Forsaken, their banshee Queen, and the remnants of the Gilneas people. Annoyingly at the time the actual battle event was bugged, like really bugged, and I and plenty of other beta guineas pigs couldn’t move past it at all. It was a painful stop and I was left with little choice but to abandon my worgen mage for the time being and so I decided now would probably be a great window of opportunity to try out the other new kid on the block – Goblin – but that adventure will have to wait until next time.

Visit the page below to read more.

Strategy Informer: Cataclysm Preview
Blizzard Entertainment
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Mac Games News for Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BlizzCast 14 Released6:00 AM
Sanctioned Renegades Public Beta Available6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty Takes Flight Today6:00 AM
The Sims 3: Ambitions Reviewed6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, July 27, 2010 on one page

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