News and reviews from the PC and console dimensions

December 2010 Archives

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Knights Contract (see screenshots) from Namco Bandai Games America will ship Feb. 22 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the company announced.
The action will take place in a medieval world of swordcraft and magic. Heinrich, an immortal executioner, and Gretchen, a resurrected witch, team up to rid their world of the enemies and the curse upon its people.
The game will be rated M for Mature.

In other game news:

  • For the first time, a D&D title will be available through digital download. Bedlam Games announced Dungeons & Dragons Daggerblade through Xbox Live Arcade, the PlayStation Network and Windows PC download. With a spring release date, the game will tell the story of the battle against the evil Rezlus and his Zhentarim. The RPG will offer solo and co-op play for up to four players.
  • Two DLC packs are coming for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow from Konami. In "Reverie," players will return to the Castle as Gabriel to help Laura, former servant to the vampire, destroy the evil that lurks there. "Resurrection" will continue the story. Both packs are expected early in 2011.
  • Aeria Games, publisher of free-to-play titles, will launch Realm of the Titans, an action strategy title, in Western markets. In the online game, players will do battle in teams of powerful heroes and dangerous villains.
  • Matrix Games announced the availability of Distant Worlds - Return of the Shakturi. The expansion will continue the action started in Distant Worlds, a space strategy game. Until Jan. 4, Matrix will offer special pricing on both the expansion and original game.
  • Meanwhile, Matrix and Slitherine reported that PC World named two of their games among its top 10 for 2010. Honored were Across the Dnepr 2 and Battles from the Bulge.
  • A new space strategy game for Windows was announced by Vancouver-based Crypstone Games. Star Prospector, the developer says, will mix RTS and RPG elements. For more, visit www.crypstone.com.

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Kalypso Media and RealmForge released new screenshots for its upcoming romp, Dungeons (see screenshot).
In the game, players will take the role of a Dungeon Lord who attempts to lure heroes into his diabolical traps in order to steal their soul energy. It is important to keep the heroes happy, as the happier they are, the more soul energy they possess.
The game is set to ship in March for the PC.

Elsewhere:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops now has topped $1 billion in sales worldwide, Activision announced. More than 600 million hours have been logged playing the game since its Nov. 9 debut.
  • The Blitzkrieg France add-on (see screenshot) for Battlefield Academy will allow players to control German forces as they attempt to conquer Paris, Matrix Games announced. Blitzkrieg will offer 25 new units, 28 modified units, nine single-player missions, four multiplayer missions and other upgrades.
  • Ahoy Dr. Who fans. The BBC announced one of his adventures, Shadows of the Vashta Nerada, now is available for free at www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho. The main enemy the good doctor battles is a 50-foot alien shark.
  • Aeria Games reports it has launched its free-to-play browser-based game Ministry of War. The empire-building and tactical strategy game features four ancient empires, Rome, China, Persia and Egypt. Play can span five ages: Savage, Dark, Feudal, Castle and Empire. Visit http://ministryofwar.aeriagames.com/playnow.
  • Beta testing is under way for the free-to-play Dreamlords: Resurrection, Paradox Interactive announced. The game will be a massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game.
  • A special limited edition version of The Sims Medieval is available for pre-order at www.TheSimsMedieval.com, EA announced. The limited edition will grant owners access to three all-new, themed throne rooms with Barbarian, Dark Magic and Princess themes.

Call of Duty Black OPS "First Strike" add-on will launch on Xbox Live on February 1st.

The DLC will feature four new multiplayer maps including Berlin Wall, Discovery, Stadium and Kowloon. A new Zombie map called Ascension will also be part of the DLC.

"We're committed to supporting Call of Duty: Black Ops fans with continuous updates to the game and exciting new content that will keep our community engaged," Treyarch Studio Head, Mark Lamia said. "We can't wait to deliver Call of Duty: Black Ops First Strike to our fans.

Activision did not release any pricing for the DLC. The two map packs released for Modern Warfare 2, which featured five maps, cost 1200 Microsoft points ($15). I would assume that "First Strike" would cost the same.

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Ubisoft revealed a new faction for the upcoming PC game Might & Magic Heroes VI: The Stronghold (see screenshots).
The Orcs were created when wizards injected demon blood into human criminals. The result was a race of fierce warriors who often faced persecution.
In a related announcement, Ubisoft revealed that five themes taken from the Might & Magic games will be featured in the live music show Video Games Live. One of them will be "Haven Theme" from Heroes VI.
For more, visit www.mightandmagicgame.com.

In other news:

  • The official website for The Lord of the Rings: War in the North has been relaunched, Warner Bros. Interactive and Snowblind Studios announced. The game is due next year for the PC, 360 and PS3. Visit www.WarInTheNorth.com.
  • Bioware took the wraps off Mass Effect 3, due for the 2011 holidays. A trailer, "Earth," can be viewed at http://masseffect.com.
  • A magic-wielding Witch will be the third playable class in the upcoming free-to-play online RPG Path of Exile from Grinding Gear Games. Visit www.pathofexile.com.
  • Sega of America announced two edtions of Total War: Shogun 2 will be available in North America, due March 15 for the PC. Besides the standard edition there will be a limited edition that includes a unique playable faction, the Hattori Clan, an additional scenario, complete set of armor for your online avatar and as starting bank of XP to spend on your online character.
  • Speaking of special editions, EA announced the Bulletstorm Epic Edition will include early access to the Gears of War 3 beta. Bulletstorm will be available Feb. 22 for the 360.
  • EA also announced a new animated movie, Dead Space Aftermath, will be available Jan. 25 to coincide with the release of Dead Space 2. The animated movie will be offered on Blu-ray and DVD.
  • Elements of War, a real-time strategy game from Kalypso Media, is due to release in March for the PC. In the game, opposing armies can call upon the forces of nature to do battle.

Robots vs. humans

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SEGA announced Binary Domain , a squad-based shooter being developed by Toshihiro Nagoshi, who has been behind the Yazuka games and other titles.
The new game will toss players into a battle between humanity and robot invaders in Tokyo 2080. In a press release, Nagoshi said the game also will involve moral issues as the human soldiers begin to question their own humanity.
The game will be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Also coming:

  • January now is the release date for SpellForce 2: Faith in Destiny (see screenshot above) from DreamCatcher Games and JoWooD Group. The game takes place some four years later at a time when the world's nations are isolated at a time when they face a new enemy, demons.
  • Masthead Studios released a video for its upcoming MMORPG Earthrise, which is now in beta. The video can be viewed at www.play-earthrise.com/media/
  • Magic: The Gathering - Tactics will be coming soon for the PC and PS3 from Sony Online Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast. The game will be free to play and download, however, players will be able to build more powerful decks by buying booster packs.
  • On Dec. 21, a demo will be available for Dead Space 2. The horror/action game set in space will arrive in January from Electronic Arts.
Out now:
  • Gary Grigsby's War in the East, a strategy game that covers World War II on the Eastern Front, now is available through the online stores for Matrix Games and Slitherine.
  • Decimation 3, an arcade retro shooter from Xona Games, now is available on Xbox Live Indie Games for 80 Microsoft points (about $1).

Casual Corner:

  • PopCap games announced the availability of Bejeweled 3, the first sequel in the franchise in six years. The Match 3 game features eight different game modes and can be had for $19.95 through PopCap and other distributors.
  • Legends of Horror was announced by eGames and Anuman Interactive. The bundle ($19.99) features Frankenstein: The Dismembered Bride, Jack the Ripper: Letters from Hell, Time Machine: Trapped in Time, Public Enemies: Bonnie and Clyde, and Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hyde: The Strange Case. Visit www.egames.com.
  • RHEM 4: The Golden Fragments, a mind-bending puzzle game, will be available for $19.99 from WHA 2 Entertainment, www.rhem4.com.

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Brunhilda and The Dark Crystal, a new casual game, kept me captivated right through to the end.
The offering from TriSynergy, Codeminion and Twin Bottles is a hidden-object game featuring three mini games as well.
The story involves Brunhilda, a young woman called to her aunt's apartment. Once there, Brunhilda embarks on a mission to rescue a magical realm.
She won't have to do it on her own, however, There is a demon sidekick who provides much of the comic relief in the game. He also serves as a hint dispenser when you encounter a tough spot.
Spanning some 10 chapters and 30 locations, Brunhilda and The Dark Crystal proved to be a colorful adventure with a family-friendly sense of humor.
Typically, play involves traveling to a new location. There players will encounter a character (or characters). Each of these characters seems to have a wish list of items that they require in order to assist Brunhilda.
Completing these lists is where hidden-object searches come in.
Other searches involve Brunhilda's efforts to secure the ingredients needed to concoct a potion or cast a magic spell.
The ultimate goal is to uncover all the shards of the Dark Crystal that is at the root of the magical kingdom's troubles.
In addition to the hidden-object puzzles, there are three other games.
In Alchemy, players catch blue potion drops while avoiding red ones. The Wizardry game requires players to match runes in a book with those passing by on the bottom of the screen. Finally, Telepathy is a test to determine the subtle differences in two similar pictures.
All of these proved to be addictive fun.
With its beautifully drawn scenes, funny dialogue and quirky characters, Brunhilda and The Dark Crystal conjures up a casual game many will enjoy.
Brunhilda and The Dark Crystal, available at www.trisynergy.com for the PC (Windows XP through 7, 1 GHz processor, 256 MB of RAM) and Mac (OSX 10.4 or higher, 1.5 GHz processor and 512 MB of RAM). The title comes with two bonus games, MahJong Quest and Zen Gems.

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If any of you remember Panzer General (and I certainly do), there is good news from Slitherine and The Lordz Games Studio.
First appearing in 1994 from Strategic Simulations Inc., Panzer General is credited with bringing strategy gaming to the masses. An accessible game system and riveting gameplay made the series a hit with computer gamers.
Coming in 2011 will be Panzer Corps (see screenshots), a game that at first look appears to be a descendant of the good, old General.
Panzer Corps will feature 26 scenarios and 21 maps from the European Theater in World War II.

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In other news:


  • The expansion Field of Glory: Swords and Scimitars (see screenshots below) has been released by Hexwar, Slitherine and Matrix Games. The expansion will offer some 40 battles from ancient to medieval times.

  • Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam is due Dec. 18 from EA through digital download through the EA Store and on Steam. On Dec. 21, the game can be found on Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store and PC download sources. Play as either a U.S. Marine or member of the North Vietnamese Army. Meanwhile, developer DICE announced that once players amass 69 million team actions, the Operation Hastings map will become unlocked. The map could be found in the original Battlefield: Vietnam.

  • Speaking of new maps, the first map pack for Halo: Reach recently was released. Featured are seven new achievements and three new environments.

  • NotSoft announced it was giving away full versions of its casual game Wytches Brew. Check it out at http://notsoftgames.com/news.htm.

  • Two new dungeons opened in Nexon's free-to-play MMORPG Vindictus. On tap are vicious Gnolls, deadly spiders and evil toads. Maybe the toads can give you warts.

  • W! Games announced its award-winning, turn-based strategy game Greed Corp will be available Dec. 10 through Steam. The game is set in a world of feudal warfare and environmental destruction through industrial consumption.

  • Registration is under way for the closed beta for Pride of Nations from Paradox Interactive and AGEOD. Sign-up ends Dec. 13. The game will simulate the battle of Great Powers between 1850 and 1920. Visit http://beta.paradoxplaza.com/.

  • Ministry of War, a nation-building strategy and warfare game, will join the line-up of free-to-play browser-based games from Aeria Games in January.

  • The free-to-play M.A.T. (Mission Against Terror) from Wicked Interactive launched Terminator Mode. A random amount of players are spawned as Terminators, and it's their job to survive until the time limit expires. The rest of the players are mummies.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from December 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

November 2010 is the previous archive.

January 2011 is the next archive.

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