Diablo Turns 20: Blizzard, What Are You Up To?


 

Twenty years is a long time for any form of interactive entertainment to be around and still have an active fan base. Blizzard seems to know its classic PC game Diablo has a rather dedicated and somewhat vocal legion of players that have stayed with the franchise through three games, numerous patches and a few expansion packs. Granted, the love for the first two games meant Diablo III was going to be heavily criticized for both its long development time and any huge changes to what longtime fans expected. Let’s just say the fans didn’t disappoint in letting themselves be heard.


 

But of course, Diablo III was a mess at and post launch, but tons of patches, the removal of that horrid Auction House and surprisingly, mostly superb console ports that actually improved upon the foundation laid made it a far better game for everyone save last-gen system (PS3/Xbox 360) owners who didn’t get the great 2.4.0 update. I’d already sunk a few hundred hours into the PS3 version and planned to transfer my save files over to the PS4 when I finally made the move to that console. Of course, that didn’t happen thanks to Phill Katz stealing my PS3 after I sent it to him for repair. NO, I haven’t forgotten you, asshole.


 

So, yeah. I’ve had to restart from scratch with Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Ultimate Evil Edition on the PS4 and so far, I’m quite pleased with my progress. I’m working on a Demon Hunter build and blazing through Adventure Mode after completing the Campaign once just to build up a ton of Paragon points so I’ll have a huge pool to use when creating other characters later. The 2.4.0 content surprised me with a dark and grim new map that added a few new enemy variants, crashing waves, rain and… freakin’ gigantic sea snakes popping up if you ran too close to the edge of some spots on the map.


 

Anyway, this post has no point other than me reminiscing and wondering just what the hell Blizzard is up to. Yes, I know about the Necromancer class coming as well as the upcoming “remake” of the first game using the DIII engine. But I’m hotly curious as to what else is planned. Other games get re-releases, HD upgrades or flat out remakes, so it only makes sense that this one would at some point soon. Unless Blizzard is just messing with us fans. Those old cinematics sure cleaned up well, huh?

-GW

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This DOOM Trailer is a Feat of Clay

DOOMSo, yeah. DOOM comes out on May 13th and this 4th game can also be seen as a modern reboot of the seminal FPS franchise as well as a love letter by id Software to itself. While the official game trailer itself is quite NSFW, the very talented Claycat (or Lee Hardcastle) has whipped up a hilariously cartoon gory (and not for the kiddies) claymation version of one of the early trailers that’s a must-watch.

Er… Hey, that’s NOT blood, kids… it’s um, jelly! Take a look:

Yep, awesome, innit? Here’s the yuckier (content-wise) official trailer:

DOOM hits retail and digital on May 13, 2016. As the song says, “go to hell and see how you like it!”

The Only April Fool’s Day Joke That Made Me Laugh Today


 

Thank you, CD Projekt RED for *magically* getting water to shoot out my nose earlier today. It’s a definite April Fool’s gag, but I’d more than gladly pay that five bucks for talking horse DLC just for the chance to have an option to have Roach talk in a Mr. Ed voice. Okay, back to work here – I’m up to my wet nostril hairs in stuff to do.

Sword Coast Legends: Drop A d20 On This DM-Ready D&D Adventure Headed to Consoles Soon

SCL_KeyArt_Branded Okay, I had no idea Sword Coast Legends had come out on PC last fall (oops!). Thankfully, the new Dungeons & Dragons game is also headed to PS4 and Xbox One this spring as a digital download at the must-have price point of $19.99. This includes all the content from the PC version and additions such as the Drow as a new playable sub-race, additional character skill trees, hundreds of new placeable objects for DMs, new areas, new visual effects, hardcore gameplay options, and much more. While it can be played solo, SCL seems tailor made for co-op play and Dungeon Master (DM) created custom adventures that extend the game’s life cycle even more.

Speaking of more… Continue reading

DOOM: Campaign of Pain Awaits The Hardcore FPS Fans

doom-frontcoverHa and double ha. Releasing DOOM on Friday the 13th (5/13/2016, to be precise) is a PR masterstroke created courtesy of the calendar naturally falling on that date and players worldwide hoping the final product is indeed ready for its garishly gory close up on  day reserved for superstition and bad luck galore for those who believe in such stuff.

From the video below the jump (it’s kinda NSFW with all that mostly demon blood and bits splooshing all about), it’s clear to this writer that the game recalls the original’s unrepentant and dark tone, amped-up modern visuals side.

Remember, folks: you’re NOT buying DOOM because you want happy-happy rainbows and flower-draped unicorns prancing about with flitty faeries giggling psychotically as rosewater (gently) sprays into your face from your PC’s speakers. You’re buying DOOM because you know what you’re getting into: One space marine on Mars stuck in a ravaged space base racking up a rather impressive and insane body count comprised of demons who’ve entered the place through a recently activated portal to hell.

Yikes, but hey – simpler is best in a game like this, particularly is it’s trying to get the feel of the original games right. “Nailed it!” is what Bethsoft and id want to hear (or “BFG’ed it!” or “Chainsawed it!” if you want to get into the proper game groove lingo stuff) from fans this May and if that trailer is any indication, they’ll be hearing that and more.

Speaking of more: click below if you darrrrrrreContinue reading

Whispering Willows: A Haunting You Will Go (On Even More Platforms)

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Abstraction Games and Night Light Interactive have a nice and spooky surprise coming soon for Xbox One, Wii U, iOS and Android owners. Although the game is already out for a few platforms (PC, PS4, Vita and OUYA), I’d actually never heard of Whispering Willows until an email about the latest version popped up in my inbox. Initially set for an August 12 launch at $9.99, Xbox One owners will be seeing the game as part of Microsoft’s Deals With Gold promotion starting Friday, August 28th at 30% off ($6.99) for two weeks only (through Friday, September 11).

iOS and Android versions will also be available on the 28th with the Wii U version following shortly thereafter. The horror-themed puzzle adventure has you playing as Elena, a young girl with the ability to use astral projection. The talent comes to good use thanks to her father going missing in a creepy mansion and yes, Elena heads into that haunted palace set on finding out just where he is and what’s happened to him. I’d say more, but I’ll need to play the game and get back to you on how it turned out. I’d gather all those plaudits on the official site mean the game is worth the price and more. A half dozen screens to ogle are below.

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Dark Souls III: The Eyes Have It And You’ll Get It, Alright


 

As in expect to PREPARE TO DIE a lot more than before thanks to FromSoftware’s latest entry in its not at all casual RPG franchise. Not at all for the weak-kneed player who wants some hand-holds and footholds through its gloomy and deadly dungeons, the Souls series packs in death by everything from environmental hazards to many enemy types looking to kick your frightened ass all over those environments. I tend to play these games just to survive the experience and not be a speed-running expert at them. But I know of some extremely talented players who relish the challenge of making double time through the maps as they face danger head on and die a lot as a learning process.

Of course, speed, accuracy and learning each enemy’s strengths and weaknesses is a huge key to enjoying the ride. That said, the geniuses at FromSoft have packed the series with everything from AI that follows you relentlessly to enemies and bosses that are bigger than the areas they try to kill you in and seemingly indestructible to novice players. Nope, nothing casual at all here, kids. In fact, there’s a terrifying element to all the games that borders on horror in some areas, but I’m not calling this a “horror” game series by any means. Just a note that if you’re not playing with a tiny bit of fright creeping into your bones, you’re a better man or woman than I. Anyway, DSIII is coming in 2016. Prepare to… yeah, you know.

Zombi: U Will Want To Play This Wii U Port On Your PS4 & Xbox One


 

Call me only mildly surprised that this is happening, although I’m shocked (shocked! But not really) that it didn’t happen sooner. ZombiU was one of the Wii U’s standout launch games in that it made the GamePad and touchscreen mandatory for the gameplay to work best at what it was trying to accomplish. Looking down at it to check one’s inventory or prepare a weapon or something else only to look up at your TV and see something (or a few somethings!) shambling and scrambling out of the dark was a terrifying thing to experience. Yes, Vita or Windows tablet support for that second screen would be beautiful to see. But even Sony has mucked that up quite a bit by taking so long to implement it into games and only as a means of playing portable games on a larger TV. I don’t own a Surface tablet, so I can’t comment positively or otherwise) on anything Microsoft has done for dual screen gaming. Oh well.

Anyway, without that second screen this might look like another zombie game to skip over if you’re tired of the genre. You’d be sorely mistaken for thinking that based on looks alone. My frightening and sometimes fearfully frustrating (Do I want to go on through that door? Hell nope! Oh… okay. CHOMP!) experience with the Wii U version says that if approached with an open mind by smarter PS4 and Xbox One owners who don’t resort to insults whenever they see a Wii U game, the experience should be quite a worthy one. The rogue-like random elements add infinite replay value and there are some really effective scares to be had. Anyway, August 15, 2015 is the big day for this and I hope to hell it not only does well, but gets some of the all-out naysayers about the Wii U to ‘fess up and admit that there are actually some great games on that system they haven’t played (er, until now that is).

Fallout 4: It’s Going To Be The Bomb (As The Kids Say)


 

Fallout 4 CasesWell, I knew Bethesda was working on it for a while so I may be one of the few people who didn’t lose his or her mind when that Fallout 4 trailer dropped. More will be revealed at E3 and that most likely means there will be live gameplay to see and screens to pore over. I like that our hero (or heroine if you choose to play as a female) may have an actual voice this time out and I hope there are a few voice options in that character creation screen. While the trailer is made up of in-game footage trying to even guess anything about the story through the trailer is a fool’s errand. Naturally, the internet is going ga-ga over over-speculation about everything in that video. I prefer to keep what remains of my sanity and stay quiet until my paws are wrapped around a controller.

I’m gathering the release date will be a shocker, as there are placeholder pre-order and retailer tabs on the official site already that will probably go live during or after E3. I’m betting Bethsoft wants to get as many people who want this as possible to grab their wallets and get with the early spending spree. Given that their press conference is quite long and has the return of former G4TV stars Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb as hosts, I’d say a lot of gamer wallet (and other bits) draining will be happening once all is said and done. That said, I don’t think an new single player entry in The Elder Scrolls series will be announced this year. Why? Because that’s too much to take for some folks (myself included) and time travel hasn’t been invented just yet so we can play all these games and go back to normal without missing a beat.

Besides, Bethesda REALLY wants you to be playing The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. Zenimax did work a hell of a long time on it and I hear it’s not bad at all for an always online game experience.

The Witcher 3 Now Available: Some of You Won’t Be Seen For Weeks


 

Or you’ll be seen in all your usual places but your minds will be elsewhere because you’ve been running around adventuring as Geralt in CD Projekt RED’s long-awaited open world masterpiece. If those glowing review scores are any indication, this one’s going to be keeping some folks busy for months between the main game and the upcoming DLC packs. I’d bet a nickel that more than a few people who’ve been holding out or saving up for something to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed make the big plunge (and hopefully see that there are a load of other games out there worth a buy in the process). ames like this are what keep me playing after all this time. You can take all those not an actual sport “eSports” titles, MOBAs and about 80% of every mobile or “social” game and stick them in a slow boat to Mars. None of those will ever best any game with a good solid story and characters you feel are part of a living, breathing fantasy world. Someone give CD Projekt RED a medal for keeping the flame alive already.