Gaming Enthusiast http://www.gamingenthusiast.net Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:53:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Interstellar Marines Early Access Hands-On Impressions http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/preview/interstellar-marines-steam-early-access-impressions/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/preview/interstellar-marines-steam-early-access-impressions/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:53:29 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?post_type=preview&p=19408 The glitz and glam of the first-person shooter realm has become something bigger than itself. With high-ball engines that seem like only Hollywood could produce,…

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The glitz and glam of the first-person shooter realm has become something bigger than itself. With high-ball engines that seem like only Hollywood could produce, there’s something empty about the experience as a whole. However, many would argue this is where the creative reins are grasped by the developers pouring their time into Early Access titles on Steam. The company known as Zero Point Software is looking to bring a little something different to the table.

“We’re a small team pouring our blood, sweat, and tears into delivering an FPS that merges the best from tactical shooters with believable science fiction and role-playing — think Half-Life meets System Shock, giving birth to Rainbow Six in space!” — Interstellar Marines Development Team

Title: Interstellar Marines
Platform: PC via Steam
Developer: Zero Point Software
Publisher: Zero Point Software
Release Date: Out now (Steam Early Access)
Price Point: $18.99 (Early Access), $24.99 to upgrade to the ‘Spearhead Edition’, $43.99 (all future game content and more*)

At its core, Interstellar Marines is a modest FPS with team-oriented gameplay. The arena-style maps span from extremely close quarters to seemingly open-air terrain. All of the matches take place in a training style facility found just below the surface of Earth. Even though the facility is a subterranean base below the state of Nevada, it doesn’t skimp on the environmental challenges a soldier may face in the future. Heck, you may encounter a walking shark or two. What better way to show off your moves by jumping in guns-a-blazin’? That is, if you can join the ranks and become an Interstellar Marine.

The map content for the game is diverse and keeps the online multiplayer realm heavily in mind. For example, on Stronghold, the newest map to be added with the update, consists of metallic corridors, stairs, chambered office-like space, and forests to line outside. To accompany the forested areas, the sprinklers located on the ceiling sputter rainfall, leaving watermarks on your mask. If the dynamic light of the map has changed, complete darkness may be upon you. At this point, there are free-standing industrial lights whose bulbs can be shot out. This plays into the tactical portion of the game. Players can either choose to fumble in the dark and fire at silhouettes or dawn their beams and be seen by the enemy.

Are those water spots on your HUD, or are you just happy to see me?

Are those water spots on your HUD or are you just happy to see me?

These are small details that should be mentioned, considering all of the other environmental factors that take part in the game.

Other memorable maps include that of Elevation, in which the environment moves up or down with the sounds of sirens for warning. If you were taking cover behind a small cubicle or set of walls, that set could no longer be there in a few seconds’ time. This ever-changing scenery offers more substance to the game instead of flooding the players with overpowering assault rifles/grenades/shotguns.

The guns in the game are limited at the current time. There is a light machine gun that fires most similarly to the basic assault rifles with holographic sights seen in games like Battlefield or Medal of Honor. Something you will notice right away is the forgiving assets that it’s already received, having a holographic scope built in. The red highlighted target quadrants on the scope I could simply do without, but the red dot sight is something longed for when starting a new FPS game.

The other gun, the AR 03, fires like the battle rifle seen in the Halo series, more specifically Halo: Reach. However, in Interstellar Marines, the kick is present and there is also a noticeable pop when it comes to cracking off a few rounds, which will presumably force you to time your shots accordingly. The zoom on the gun can be useful for enemies that are further across the map and is easily a good swap-to weapon when running out of ammo with your primary.

The game modes are currently pretty sparse. It wouldn’t necessarily be fair to deliver a full review on an Early Access title at this time, more specifically Interstellar Marines, being that new game modes are being added. Next in the update to the game is a co-op feature. This is particularly interesting to me, as the games in which I have mostly entered are often unbalanced. This would be a nifty feature for those teaming up with a friend via Steam or simply looking for a more counter-balanced approach to each map.

Left: The start of the transition on the map, Right: towards the end.  Both from the upper level view.

Left: The start of the transition on the map. Right: Towards the end. Both from the upper level view.

The most common game mode that you will find for multiplayer is Deadlock. During the ten-minute time period, players are tasked with holding seven different locations throughout the map. Once taken, the opposing team will then attempt to neutralize these areas. This also means there will be no hesitation in gunning you down in the process. The team that eliminates all of the other players and gains control of the waypoints or kills off the whole team will win the match. Leveling up is also part of the experience. Captures and kills account for points, working towards your next skill level. This becomes challenging when respawns are delayed and you are simply waiting to get back into the action, thus learning to play the game more skillfully in a sense.

On the other hand, when you are the last Marine standing, you are then tasked with capturing a waypoint or killing an enemy in order to respawn a teammate. Being the last person standing can often lead to tense moments as there is no radar used other than the icons listed in your mask. There are also no hit markers when firing on opponents, delivering more challenge to the shooter than meets the eye.

Final Thoughts:

Interstellar Marines is surprisingly addictive and fun, considering that there is still more content promised and more features to be desired. I would like to know more background, item classifications and specifics in terms of weaponry. Most of these sought-after features can be seen in the image scroll bar for the game if you visit the Steam page. I wouldn’t normally consider the price-point of a game to be a deciding factor, but for this title, it should. The development team should consider pricing in the sense that it could lead more consumers to pick it up. At this rate, it is foreseeable that the game will can only grow in value as new features are added.

At this time, I would say that having an $18.99 Early Access price point is rather high. Having the full game along with additional content will put you in the $43.99 ballpark. Based on the gameplay itself being quite fun, there is no reason why you shouldn’t pass up this shooter or simply hold out for a destined purchase.

The following is what you can expect if you drop the $43.99 in Steam cash:

  • Early Access to Interstellar Marines including all future updates and expansions.
  • Join the Spearhead unit (unique honorary game profile).
  • Your username in the Hall of Honor and your name in the credits of the game.
  • Digital download of the Interstellar Marines: The Beginning soundtrack and all future soundtracks.
  • Digital download of art book when it’s ready.
  • Get 1 extra Interstellar Marines Steam Key to gift to a friend.

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10 Last Chance Special GOGcom Games You Can’t Miss Out On http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/10-last-chance-special-gogcom-games-cant-miss/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/10-last-chance-special-gogcom-games-cant-miss/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:55:07 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19404 GOGcom made a slew of amazing announcements today, but among them is the shocker that they were removing 35 of their classic titles off the…

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GOGcom made a slew of amazing announcements today, but among them is the shocker that they were removing 35 of their classic titles off the library. If you’ve had your eye on a few of these titles, you need to get them before they are gone forever!

If you don’t know what you could be missing out on, however, we’ll list down the top 10 franchises for your perusal. Yes, that means some items in this list refer to multiple games. You can decide  for yourself which ones you want to get.

Painkiller Black Edition

Released in the same year as Postal 2 and Doom 3, Painkiller might have been lost in the shuffle, but it deserves your attention now.

The story of a man stuck in hell, forced to take down Satan and his generals to make his way to heaven, is a little on the light side, but that’s deliberate. Painkiller is all about taking down hordes of hell’s soldiers, no fetch quests or key hunting. Just kill everything in your sight and move forward.

Painkiller Black Edition brings together the original game, as well as its first expansion, Battle Out of Hell. Buy Here Now

Freedom Force vs the Third Reich

While Gogcom only offers the sequel, you do not need to have played the original to understand or enjoy this. Freedom Force and their villains go back in time, all the way to World War 2, in a bid to stop Blitzkrieg from using time travel to take over the world. Along the way, they discover the grey area they must traverse to keep America, and the world, safe.

 

Freedom Force vs the Third Reich’s gameplay is the same familiar RTS / RPG mix, requiring planning, coordination, and methodical playing. It’s an addictive mix of mechanics, welded with a compelling story to make an irresistible combination.  Buy Here Now

Desperados

GOGcom is offering Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive and Desperados: Cooper’s Revenge. If you are curious about this game at all, you may as well get them together.

Both games see you commanding a gang of gunslingers in a Wild West setting, led by John Cooper. Whether taking down the notorious bandit El Diablo, or seeking out revenge for the murder of John’s brother, both Desperado games feature stories with surprise twists and turns, and Commandos-style stealth real time tactics gameplay. If you’ve read bad reviews of Cooper’s Revenge, don’t fret; the GOGcom version fixes the bugs.

Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive Buy Here Now

Desperados: Cooper’s Revenge Buy Here Now

SpellForce

Admittedly, the SpellForce games are a bit of a mixed bag, so why would you want to get these games?

In spite of its issues, SpellForce represents a conscious effort to effectively and seamlessly bring together the world of RTS and RPG games. Playing as the Runewarrior in the original or the Shaikan in the sequel, you will be immersed in the deep lore of a fantasy world tainted by war and the struggles for power.

If you had to choose between the games, SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars improves on everything the original SpellForce  built on, and Dragon Storm is the more worthy sequel to SF2, over Demons of the Past. Ultimately, however, if you want to follow the story all the way through, you should play them all in order. You also should note that SpellForce: The Order of Dawn, the original game, is bundled with its expansions, Breath of Winter and Shadow of the Phoenix for a high value package in SpellForce Platinum.

With all four games deeply discounted, this should not be a hard choice to make.

SpellForce Platinum Buy Here Now

SpellForce 2:  Shadow Wars Buy Here Now

SpellForce 2:  Dragon Storm Buy Here Now

SpellForce 2:  Demons of the Past Buy Here Now

Silver

Silver has a cult following, but is definitely not for everyone. If you know nothing about this game, however, you owe it to yourself to at least read on and find out if it’s worth your consideration.

Silver is the villain and despot of the game world of Verrah, and you play David, a young warrior out to save your damseled wife from Silver. What distinguishes this game from the pack is its JRPG inspired aesthetic, and real time combat. The game also uses distinct control schemes, using both pie menus and mouse gestures.

If theres any reason to pick Silver now, it would be that the original 1999 disc is incompatible with modern computers. This GOGcom version is playable on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 without additional patches.

Buy Here Now

The Black Mirror

Again another divisive franchise, The Black Mirror games are a suspenseful trek into madness and survival horror. While the games have been criticized for the rigid, sometimes inconsistent, story elements, other fans embrace these same elements as part of their appeal.

Few will argue that both games are effective at building atmosphere, thanks to high quality background graphics, audio, and animation. There is merit in criticisms of the English dub, but these are in no way deal breakers. If you’re curious how European devs handle the touch and click interactive horror genre, these are the games you are looking for.

The Black Mirror Buy Here Now

Black Mirror 2 Buy Here Now

AquaNox

Now here is a truly unique treat. The AquaNox games are 6DOF action games placing you in a mercenary sub, facing off against sea monsters, marine armies, and other mercenaries. In essence, these are flight simulators trading the skies for the seas, demanding mastery of real 6DOF controls. The Aquanox games also hold up well visually and story wise. These games may not be perfect, but they are unique, and you do not want to miss out on the chance to get them cheap and DRM-free.

AquaNox  Buy Here Now

AquaNox 2: Revelation Buy Here Now

Alien Nations

The Alien Nation games cannot match up to the likes of Civilization or Empire Earth in terms of complexity or depth, but that’s precisely the point. These games swing to the opposite end of difficulty in the usually harsh RTS genre. Easy to pick up and play, you do not hold direct control over your creatures, but give orders like a god. Each of your creatures have unique personalities, and you will have to respect that, and work to cultivate their best traits to get them to do what you want. These games are engineered not to challenge, but to delight, and are a great gift for your kids or younger relatives and friends.

Alien Nation Buy Here Now

The Nations / Alien Nation 2 Buy Here Now

Panzer Elite Special Edition

Have you never played a tank sim before? You can’t go wrong starting with Panzer Elite. This game is widely regarded as the gold standard in its genre. Its system takes into account every imaginable variable possible, including gravity, wind, muzzle velocity, shell rotation, etc. The original game by Wings Simulation suffered from numerous bugs, but thanks to the core Panzer Elite community, the Special Edition is a much improved experience.

The extreme realism comes with the drawback of a steep learning curve, and even in its time, the game’s graphics engine was already dated, but even with these issues Panzer Elite Special Edition is a must buy for the tank sim fan, especially now that the game is in its going away sale.

Buy Here Now

Neighbours From Hell Compilation

We end this feature with a slapstick cartoon come to life. The original Neighbours From Hell features you setting traps and playing tricks on the hated Neighbour in his home, and its sequel, Neighbours from Hell 2: On Vacation, has you following the Neighbour throughout the world, and using his mom and dream girl against him. These games are simply straightforward devilish fun, and they’re worth getting now before they’re gone forever.

Buy Here Now

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Top 10 Strategy MMOs You Can Play On Your Web Browser http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/top-10-strategy-mmos-can-play-web-browser/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/top-10-strategy-mmos-can-play-web-browser/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 23:47:19 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19393 Some of you may have an inclination for strategy games over other genres. If this is you, and you’re looking for a way to get…

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Some of you may have an inclination for strategy games over other genres. If this is you, and you’re looking for a way to get your fix for free, check out these ten games you can play on your web browsers. These are listed in no particular order, so feel free to pick out any one that you like.

Stormfall: Age Of War

You are a lord of Stormfall, tasked with making your castle into a formidable stronghold to protect your people. You will have to manage resources, learn Lost Arts, and upgrade your castles, and your success or failure depends on making the right decisions. Thanks to its social features, you can trade and interact with other lords online, so that you can help each other out. You can even join one of the Great Leagues, or stake it out on your own. Just be patient when going through the initial tutorials, since you will not get the most out of the game without understanding everything.

Play This Now

Wartune

Wartune got embroiled in controversy earlier this year when its ad campaigns played up the sexualization of women characters in its game world. This campaign seems more ill advised, because this element is not even that prevalent in the game. If you look at Wartune outside of this morass, however, it is actually a decent timekiller, with not too much difficulty and a good story. To its credit, the game is visually appealing, and its combat system is easy to pick up on.  You might need to concentrate to understand other gameplay elements better, but it is a decent game for the time that you are going to play it.

Play This Now

Angel Alliance

This game is the epitome of autopilot, but we won’t judge you for enjoying this kind of game. You can breeze through this one thanks to auto paths, numerous screen prompts, and autoplaying battles. You can choose to point and click through it if you want to see the game’s different environments. You can also get some fun choosing across customization and upgrade paths. The best thing going for Angel Alliance is its friendly community. You will always find someone for PVP or willing to help you out.

Play This Now

The Settlers Online: Castle Empire

Did Ubisoft do good by The Settlers when they brought it online? The answer would be yes, with some qualifications. It retains enough elements from the original to satisfy some older fans, but those same fans may also be turned off by the long wait times on gathering resources and building structures. There’s no way around the game being designed for casual play, but like other games of its type, it is aided by an active community, and it does look good. Look at it this way; if you’re an older Settlers fan, you could use this to discreetly get friends and family into Settlers, and maybe convince them to play the main games.

Play Here Now

Anno Online

Another Ubisoft franchise foray into free to play, Anno Online is deliberately simpler and easier than the original games, but that’s what it needed to be to appeal to a more casual crowd. There are no wars or even battles here, so you will focus squarely on managing resources and building up your city, which becomes increasingly complex the longer you play and the more higher up you are. Monetization will eventually catch up and make the game unplayable, but you will have logged in as much as 100 hours before this happens.

Play Here Now

Sparta War Of Empires

Sparta allows you to play out a dream scenario for 300 fans. What if you came back from the battle against Xerxes and his Persian army, not only alive, but successful and ready to lead your city to new heights? Well, after such a campaign, you would have to get to the business of being a true leader, managing your city and juggling resources. Developer Plarium has worked on this game’s accuracy, so you might want to try this out if you’re a history buff as well.

Supremacy 1914

Supremacy 1914 places you in the milieu of the verge of World War I. As such, you will be placed in charge of countries in or allied to either the Triple Alliance or the Triple Entente, in a struggle to garner popular support, raise global influence, and invade or defend territories. You can fight with AI or other players, playing as other countries, and games can last between four to eight weeks. Aside from the usual resource management and army tropes, you can also take advantage of elements like diplomacy, espionage, and morale to win the game.

Goblin Keeper

Are you a classic Dungeon Keeper fan disappointed with how EA tried to update the game with its mobile version? There is actually another game out there that does a better job of bringing the game forward with modern elements out there. Yes, Goblin Keeper has monetization, and timed resource releases, but it doesn’t go overboard with it like Dungeon Keeper Mobile did. Even more importantly, it retains much of what made Dungeon Keeper fun; the ability to build sprawling dungeons to protect your treasure, and the chance to go after those owned by other players. Goblin Keeper gets the balance just right and is worth your time.

Rail Nation

You did not expect to see a train sim to make it to this list, did you? But Rail Nation is worth taking a look into even if you are more into  action oriented strategy games. The strategy comes in when you have to choose the best trains and plan the best routes to deliver goods on time. Rail Nation offers multiple technology upgrade paths, and it also allows you to go through different historical eras.

Orcs Must Die! Unchained

While the developers have given up trying to convince fans Unchained is not a MOBA, it still retains much of the tower defense elements of its predecessors. You will still be laying traps down to take enemies out. This time, however, you and another player will be attempting to enter each other’s rift. Each side has five minions they can use to get through a mirrored obstacle course, where traps and other enemies await.

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Top 10 GOGcom Platformers http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/top-10-gogcom-platformers-sale-now/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/top-10-gogcom-platformers-sale-now/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 16:53:40 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19375 GOGcom had a sale for platformers this week. In case you missed it, we are sharing the shortlist of the best games they had on…

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GOGcom had a sale for platformers this week. In case you missed it, we are sharing the shortlist of the best games they had on the list for you below.

Psychonauts

One of Tim Schafer’s finest creations, Psychonauts was underappreciated in its time, but has picked up a cult following since then. As Raz, you sneak into Whispering Rock, a covert spy agency training facility disguised as a summer camp. You discover the extent of Raz’s own psychic abilities, as you uncover Whispering Rock’s best kept secrets, and go through your own story of awakening and growing up.

Psychonauts is remembered for its strong blending of platformers and action games, as well as the often nightmarish nature of the levels. Raz himself has several psychic abilities to earn and level up, but also has the freedom to solve puzzles any way the player wishes. Buy Here Now

Spelunky

Spelunky is a vicious ode to the harsh platformers of old, revised with many of the ideas of today. Largely based on its namesake Spelunker, but also taking influence from La-Mulana and Rick Dangerous, you are an Indy-like adventurer, dropping down a series of caves to collect treasure, save damsels (which can be inverted to damsels saving spelunkers), and escaping the thorniest of traps. Spelunky’s levels also picks up elements from dungeon crawlers and roguelikes, such as randomly generated levels, including enemies and traps that can imperil you from anywhere.  Buy Here Now

Dust: An Elysian Tail

Here we go again, with another game that’s so good we can’t not talk about it. Aside from everything we have said about this game before, Dust distinguishes itself from the pack with neatly executed combat mechanics that sits midway between classic games, and the deeper systems of newer games. With the help of Fidget, you can pull off some magical attacks, and many variations, but the game ultimately has no combo system. Some fans may find this lacking, but many reviewers also cite how it feels fluid and becomes freeform as a result.  Buy Here Now

Teslagrad

Teslagrad leans more on the puzzle end of the puzzle platformer spectrum, so if you are up for a combined action reflex and mental challenge, this is definitely the game you are looking for. You are a young boy, traversing the mysterious Tesla tower with your potent Teslamancer technology. The game revolves around electromagnetism and pattern recognition; magnetic objects are colored red and blue, and can repel or attract each other. You use this magnetism to get past wide gaps or scale tall walls, and even take out some bosses.  Buy Here Now

Stick It To The Man!

Now this is one of the more unique platformer ideas in recent memory. Thanks to a bizarre accident, your playable character, Ray, becomes a mind reader, which manifests itself in a bizarre stretchy spaghetti hand at the back of his head. He can use this spaghetti hand to manipulate the game world, by sticking, removing, and replacing stickers. He uses his new abilities to get away from the man, accused of a crime he didn’t commit. It’s the sort of game you will realize you really like after you get to try it. Buy Here Now

Duke Nukem 1+2, 

Now we’re getting some amazing value. The 1st Duke Nukem game by Apogee Software were a highlight for platforming on MS-DOSs, the same year we got Sonic The Hedgehog and Super Mario World, not to mention Amiga getting first dibs on Lemmings and Another World. Its immediate sequel was essentially more of the same type of game, with a lot of improvements layered on top. These games are fondly remembered by many PC gamers today as their first exposure to platforming. After years of legal limbo, Apogee is able to offer the first two Duke Nukem games together bundled and DRM-free. Buy Here Now

Volgarr the Viking

Speaking of manly protagonists, Volgarr the Viking harkens back to the brutal arcade platformers of old. Everything from the meticulously handmade pixel animations, barbarian story scenario, gigantic bosses, and simple controls screams Rastan, or Golden Axe or whatever grabs your fancy. Unlike those arcade outings, Volgarr is huge at a staggering 30 maps, and with enemies exhibiting as much as 30 different traits. Buy Here Now

Escape Goat

This one is a little off of left field, but a fun little game nonetheless. The eponymous goat has been placed in the Prison of Agnes after being accused of witchcraft. Unfortunately, you do not have actual supernatural powers, but what you do have is a specialty in jumping twice and ramming into objects. Thankfully, you also have a mouse friend to enter smaller areas and help you find your way out. Escape Goat is a short, but hugely enjoyable experience, thanks to a masterfully tuned difficulty that makes sure you have mastered a special trick before you move forward. Buy Here Now

Giana Sisters: Rise of the Owlverlord

While the Giana Sisters reboot has proven itself worthwhile, when comparing the two games, I found it easier to recommend Rise of the Owlverlord over Twisted Dreams. Owlverlord is like a fun sized taste of the new Giana Sisters with seven levels to offer, with the same gameplay, better balanced difficulty, and a low asking price. Of course, if you click through, you can choose to get the original game with it too.  Buy Here Now

Valdis Story: Abyssal City

We end this list with a surprisingly grimdark Metroidvania, and an outstanding take on that fine tradition. As Wyatt, you set out to find your father, but soon yourself get caught up in a battle between angels and demons, as you face the threat of Ferals. This game is as close to the essential Metroidvania formula as possible, with powerful attacks, skill trees,  gut wrenching boss battles. Thankfully, they’ve taken out the exploration and fetch quests, making this one all about the action. Buy Here Now 

Do you feel there was a game we failed to name here? Feel free to share your favorite GOGcom platformer in the comments below.

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Why Guillermo Del Toro could be the saviour of Silent Hill http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/guillermo-del-toro-saviour-silent-hill/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/guillermo-del-toro-saviour-silent-hill/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:14:19 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19387 It was recently announced that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima would be teaming up with legendary film maker Guillermo Del Toro to create a new…

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It was recently announced that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima would be teaming up with legendary film maker Guillermo Del Toro to create a new Silent Hill game. The game was announced via a demo that was advertised to be a new horror game but upon completion was actually an elaborate advert for the new game which will star the voice and likeness of Norman Reedus who is best known for his role on The Walking Dead. Many fans of horror are thrilled to hear that Del Toro is working on a Silent Hill game and even non horror fans like myself are intrigued.

In this article published by AwesomeGames and written by Joe Martin, you can read why the presence of Del Toro could be just what the Silent Hill franchise needs to get back on its feet. I should warn you that there are spoilers for some of Del Toro’s films as Martin examines them and sees how Del Toro’s expertise could be translated to the Silent Hill Game. You can read Martin’s article HERE.

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10 MMORPGs From 2007 You Can Play Today (For Free) http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/10-mmorpgs-2007-can-play-today-free/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/10-mmorpgs-2007-can-play-today-free/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:51:32 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19329 We’re going to venture outside of GOG.com this week to look at ten MMORPGs that were released in 2007, one of the best years for the genre.…

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We’re going to venture outside of GOG.com this week to look at ten MMORPGs that were released in 2007, one of the best years for the genre. You can play these games for free, so check them out and enjoy.

Elsword

Elsword is one for the older, more experienced gamers, despite its colorful, anime-like appearance. This MMO, developed by the South Korean company KOG Studios, places an emphasis on skill-based gameplay alongside the more familiar MMO tropes, such as the roleplaying elements and community features, including guilds, chat, and item trading. You have the luxury to play the whole game with a controller rather than a keyboard and mouse if you wish.

The game is set in the once-barren Elrios, a continent which had once been known as “The Land Abandoned by God” or “God’s Disaster” before the El Stone appeared and stimulated life into the land once more. During the Harmony Festival, an event that takes place when the sun and the moon align, the El Stone shattered into millions of pieces and scattered all over the continent. The game begins with the land in turmoil. choose between Elsword the knight and nine other characters to seek out and restore the El Stone.

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9Dragons

9Dragons is a good pick if you are into martial arts but want to play something other than fighting games. Developed by the Korean company Indy21, you are a young and promising martial arts fighter known as a “Vagabond,” a person who has no affiliation to the Clans that exist within the game. These are divided into three categories: White (Wu Tag, Shaolin, League of Beggars), who are loyal to the emperor; Black (Heavenly Demon, Sacred Flower, Brotherhood of Thieves), who are not loyal to the emperor; and the Advanced Clans (Black Dragon, Disciples of Iron Fist, Union of Noble Families), which have not been implemented into the game as of 2013, but have been speculated to be neutral. The game offers both PVP and PVE and, with a very high level cap, you could play it for a very long time.

Fiesta Online

As you may tell by the name, Fiesta Online is more lighthearted than the average MMO — in fact, you could pretty much label this “the anime MMO,” because of the 3D-rendered art style and common anime tropes, both RPG and non-RPG, in this game. Published by Korean company Ons On Soft and Germany-based Gamigo, its most famous and popular feature is that weddings are an in-game mechanic. Being wed and attending weddings as one of thirty guests lead to actual awards. Gamingo is also planning an estate system in the future, which will allow you pull said estate — rooms, furniture, and all — out of thin air anywhere you wish.

Myst Online Uru Live

This one is a bit of a treat. Myst Online: Uru Live was developers by the creators of Myst, Rand and Robyn Miller, and the staff at Cyan Worlds. They now own and are working on Myst Online after several legal entanglements, so this is the Myst MMO as the creators envisioned and conceived it. What’s even more interesting is that the game is open source, with both the client and 3ds Max plugin released under the GNU GPL v3 license. The server code is still being worked on, but once it’s done, you will be able to host your own Myst Online servers.

Myst Online is the multiplayer partner of 2003′s Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, so it takes place in caverns below New Mexico circa 2000-something where an ancient civilization known as the D’ni once lived. Archaeologists discovered the caverns and wished to publish educational video games about them based on any recent findings, which is how Cyan Worlds releases content and patches for the game every so often.

Poptropica

Poptropica is not for everyone, but it definitely has a place on this list. This is a patently safe-for-kids MMO and eschews the potentially tedious and repetitive combat, inventory, and skills management of conventional MMOs. The focus is instead on questing, problem-solving, playing mini-games, and completing challenges. You can customize your character to a satisfactory degree while communicating and playing with other players under a kid-safe set-up. If you have a child who you want to play something educational and engaging, thirty-six islands await him or her in this game.

The Lord of The Rings Online

It should not be necessary to explain to you the selling point of this game — it’s The Lord of the Rings! It does focus on the lore from the books — save for The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin, which American developer Turbine does not have the rights to — and it’s also taken pains to recreate the feel of experiencing a Tolkien book. For example, PVP requires one player to turn into a monster, simply because you can’t have Hobbits fighting each other. There is extra emphasis on crafting, cooking, and even music.

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Granado Espada

IMC Games’ Granado Espada took me by surprise when it was first released because of the many distinctive features that attempted to separate it from other MMOs. Formerly known as Sword 2 and Sword of the New World: Granado Espada, the game boasts a grandiose and elaborate Baroque aesthetic, as well as a three-character player system. It is set in the world of the Kingdom of Vespanola where the queen has created a new policy called Reconquista in an effort to attract people from the Old World to settle there. You take the role of a pioneering family from the Old World. I can’t really do justice to the game, but suffice to say that Granado Espada is different enough that veteran MMOers should give it a look.

Regnum Online

Regnum Online, also known as “Realms Online” in America, is far more conventional than the other MMOs on this list, but it does have one interesting and distinctive feature: it has a heavy following in Argentina, where its developer, NGD Studios, is based. It takes heavy inspiration from Dark Age of Camelot; so like DAOCRegnum has three realms — Alsius, Ignis, or Syrtis — with one faction, composed of three different races, in each. The game strongly emphasies team PVP, known here as “realm vs. realm.” While you’re able to reach level 25 with single-player quests, the game will eventually pull you into multiplayer via international servers. Think you’re up for the challenge?

Dragon Oath

Also referred to as Tian Long Ba Bu, ChangYou.com’s Dragon Oath is a distinctively different flavor of Chinese MMO than the earlier mentioned 9Dragons. This game boasts grandiose lore that is based on the wuxia novel, Demi-Gods and Semi-Devils by Louis Cha, and is deeply immersed in Hindu Buddhist cosmology. It emphasizes your role in making a name for yourself in the multifaceted, 2.5D world of the Kingdom of Dali and offers both fighting and community-building aspects.

Age of Conan: Unchained

You simply can’t go wrong with Conan. Delve into the fictitious Hyborian Age, the time following the drowning of Atlantis and the early days of recorded history, in this MMO and build your own legend. Developer Funcom has created a premium game based on Robert E. Howard’s famous barbarian of old and now, you are able to play the game for free.

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15 locations Watch Dogs 2 could be potentially set in http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/15-locations-watch-dogs-2-potentially-set/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/15-locations-watch-dogs-2-potentially-set/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:48:39 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19382 Watch Dogs may have fallen short of its initial hype but there’s no doubting the fact that it is still a good game with some…

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Watch Dogs may have fallen short of its initial hype but there’s no doubting the fact that it is still a good game with some genuinely fantastic ideas. There’s almost no doubt that Watch Dogs will get a sequel which begs the question of where the next game should take place. Chicago was great to explore but there are so many other cities that could make a great back drop for the next game.

In this article published by GamingBolt and written by Rana Vikramaditya, you can read about 15 different cities that would be great for Watch Dogs 2. From London, Beijing, San Francisco, and more. Some of these cities are known for the massive amounts of surveillance camera’s constantly watching whilst others are known for their first rate internet connections. Using real facts like these could really help Watch Dogs 2 be immersive and could also teach us about our surroundings like Assassin’s Creed does. You can check out the article HERE.

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Here’s why I will be playing Journey on PS4 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/heres-will-playing-journey-ps4/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/heres-will-playing-journey-ps4/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 13:55:56 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19371 It was recently announced that two hit indie games originally released on the PS3 would be coming to the PS4. The Unfinished Swan and Journey…

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It was recently announced that two hit indie games originally released on the PS3 would be coming to the PS4. The Unfinished Swan and Journey were both highly acclaimed on the PS3 and are now getting a re-release on the PS4. Journey in particular struck a chord with gamers and has since become one of the most celebrated indie games of all time.

When it was announced that Journey would be re-released, some gamers have stated that they won’t be purchasing it a second time due to the fact they already bought it on the PS3. However, in this article published by PushSquare.com and written by Sammy Barker, you can read his thoughts on why Journey is worth a revisit and why he in particular looks forward to it. If you’re on the fence about re-buying the game then this article will help you make a decision. You can read Sammy’s article right HERE.

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5 lessons other games can learn from The Last of Us http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/5-lessons-games-can-learn-last-us/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/5-lessons-games-can-learn-last-us/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 10:23:58 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19368 The Last of Us was originally released last year on the PlayStation 3 and has recently been re-released on the PlayStation 4 in a cool…

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The Last of Us was originally released last year on the PlayStation 3 and has recently been re-released on the PlayStation 4 in a cool remastered edition. Revisiting The Last of Us again has reminded me just what a fantastic game it is and why it deserved over 200 Game of the Year awards. It was a step forward for gaming as an art and has raised the bar on what is possible with video games and what sort of quality we can expect as gamers. The Last of Us will no doubt go in the history books along with games like Ocarina of Time and Metal Gear Solid.

In this article published by Gamers-Association and written by Jay Curtis, you can read his thoughts on what lessons games could learn from The Last of Us. From the amazing story to the fact it was a new IP, this article lists reasons why The Last of Us excelled and how future games could stand on its shoulders. You can read the article right HERE. 

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Top 10 Console Indies You Can Play On GOG.com http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/top-10-console-indies-gogcom/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/top-10-console-indies-gogcom/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 07:05:00 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=19349 It’s easy to take for granted how huge indies have become on consoles. In short order, all the major consoles not only sell indies, but…

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It’s easy to take for granted how huge indies have become on consoles. In short order, all the major consoles not only sell indies, but have bona fide indie hits to their name. The great thing is that many of these indies have also made their way to GOG.com, so if you don’t have one of these consoles or you really are just a PC gamer, you can still get them — and DRM-free, to boot.

Mark of the Ninja

This is the latest of the indies in this list to just come out. Developed by Klei and co-funded by Microsoft Game Studios, you play the unnamed title ninja in a whirlwind of a tale of honor, betrayal, and madness. Mark of the Ninja is also known for its unique take on the stealth action genre, with line-of-sight and one-hit kill systems encouraging you to take it slow and truly act like a ninja. It was one of the highlights of the Xbox 360 indie game division and now, you can play it DRM-free on your PC.

Pixeljunk Shooter

Q-Games has made a name for themselves with the Pixeljunk brand. This fourth game is the first one to have a narrative, as you play a search-and-rescue team seeking out scientists lost in a part-subterranean, part-aquatic, part-volcanic world. You use missiles to destroy rock and manipulate different water, magma, and a mysterious third black liquid to facilitate your rescues.

Hotline Miami

Now, we get a little brutal. Hotline Miami is a top-down noir action game with a distinct aesthetic inspired by Nicholas Winding Refn’s film, Drive, and drug-smuggling documentary, Cocaine Cowboys. You are Jacket, a small-time punk who’s knee-deep in such a drug-smuggling ring, but following the murder of a loved one and possibly under the influence yourself, you go on a vicious rampage. Hotline Miami was rapidly ported to PS3 and Vita following its launch success and in fact, famously came out too early, due to a bug in PSN.

Don’t Starve

Another Klei Entertainment gig, Don’t Starve made a name for itself as one of the first games to be released on the PlayStation 4. In the midst of the early drought, it thrived as PS4 gamers, hungry to play anything, embraced the harsh survival game completely. You have to take care of your playable character, Wilson, making sure he’s well-fed, that he keeps the monsters at bay, and that he does not go completely nuts.

Dust: An Elysian Tail

Dust: An Elysian Tail has a pretty amazing backstory, as the design, programming, voice acting, soundtrack, and much of the story was made by Dean Dodrill. It also impressed Microsoft so much while in development that it won the Dream.Build.Play challenge and was essentially fast tracked to release for the Xbox 360. The eponymous Dust tries to recover his memories as he fights for the anthropomorphic people of Falana in this action RPG side-scroller.

La-Mulana

Now, we’re getting to the retro inspired-remakes. La-Mulana is a punishing side-scroller reminiscent of the MSX game The Maze of Galious, although it also borrows from other games, particularly the Metroidvanias. As Lemeza Kosugi, you traverse treacherous dungeons with low health but a lot of items to find and power you up and bring you to certain areas. The key gameplay mechanic is compelling the player to choose between moving forward, with ever slimming chances of survival, or warping out, with adverse conditions preventing you from coming back. This risk-reward system will keep you hooked, cursing and screaming the whole time. Interestingly, the game is one of those rare indies that became a hit on WiiWare and was localized there first before Windows.

Mutant Mudds

Outspoken Renegade Kid founder Jools Watsham says Mutant Mudds was originally intended as a third-person shooter, but after several attempts to get it published failed, it was reworked from the ground up as a side-scroller in the vein of Game Boy platformers, such as Wario Land and Gargoyle’s Quest. As Maxor his grandma, it’s up to you to stop the extraterrestrial Muddy invasion, armed with a jet pack and a deadly water gun. It’s Mutant Mudds‘ unique level design, which has you moving to and fro the foreground and background of stages, that gives it its unique charm.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch

The sequel to the freeware hit, Octodad: Dadliest Catch finds you once again playing the role of an octopus trying to fit in the mold of a suburban family. Every challenge is an attempt to fit in human existence without letting the world in on the fact that you are an octopus. The hook here is that you have to do these human things using  your very nonhuman tentacles, making gameplay simultaneously challenging and hilarious. As an additional stroke of genius, in multiplayer, each player uses a different tentacle, making coordination essential unless you just want to make each other laugh. Developers Young Horses, Inc. originally came up with Octodad as students in DePaul University and found an eager audience waiting for them when they brought the sequel over to PlayStation 4.

Shovel Knight

We are rounding off this list with two very solid titles. Do I even need to introduce this one to you?

Shovel Knight is an action platformer made by Yacht Club Games, themselves comprised by developers who honed their craft at Wayforward Technologies. As the titular Shovel Knight, you can strike enemies with your shovel or, even better, jump with the shovel pointed down to strike down enemies, as well as bounce off of them. This primary conceit, which Yacht Club insists was inspired by The Legend of Zelda 2 as much as Duck Talesi is at the very center of the game’s design, defining levels, difficulty, platforming challenges, bosses, and more.

Even beyond that, however, Shovel Knight grabbed fans’ attention as a sweeping ode to NES games. Everything about the game, from the visuals, soundtrack, game design, even the addition of game codes, were all informed by that generation of gaming. At the same time, it took the best ideas of modern games, such as the New Game Plus mode from Dark Souls, to satisfy modern gamers as much as retro gamers.

Steamworld Dig

Lastly, Steamworld Dig made headlines as a true indie breakout hit on 3DS. While games like Runner2 also appeared on the console, this was the kind of success that literally made the name of its developer, Image & Form. Somewhat similar to La-Mulana, you have a risk-and-reward mechanic between progressing and teleporting back to the surface. Unlike La-Mulana, Steamworld Dig is set in a strange universe where robots have dominion of the world and humans are unthinking ghouls that strike you, as you dig your way lower into an abandoned mine. Also, it does allow you to pick up items you dropped off again if you die, but the levels are randomly generated, so it won’t be back where you left them.

Did you like this list? You can check out the GOGmix (and purchase them all together) here.

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