Posts Tagged ‘first-person’

Call of Duty: Black Ops for PC will ship with dedicated server support this November, but there’s a catch.

Activision and Treyarch studios announced it has partnered with GameServers.com to offer exclusive dedicated server rentals when the game launches.

“We are extremely excited about this unprecedented relationship with Activision to offer dedicated servers exclusively for Black Ops”, said GameServers CEO David Aninowsky. “We are placing a great amount of pressure on ourselves to ensure that we exceed any and all expectations.”

According to GameServers’ pre-order page, ranked servers will cost $14.95 a month for an 18 max player limit. Discounts are offered for monthly prepays. Unranked servers will cost $0.99 a month per player up to maximum of 24. Teamspeak support will have an additional fee. Discounts will be offered for a 3, 6, and 12 month prepay.

Treyarch Community Manager Josh Olin said this partnership will provide high-quality servers at an affordable rate for the game.

“If players want to run a dedicated Ranked or Unranked server on the PC, they will have to rent one through GameServers,” Olin told IGN. “Treyarch will be providing a fleet of ‘Day-1 Servers’ (through GameServers) which will be up and operational on November 9th.

“Nobody will have to rent a dedicated server through GameServers in order to play the game,” says Olin. “But for anybody who wants to run their own server, it will be run from GameServers.com.”

Olin added that this partnership adds the advantage of much more effective anti-cheating and hacking moderation.

“If you rent a server, you will still have the ability to Kick, Ban, and Configure it the way you see fit,” Olin added. “Of course Ranked servers will have some set configurations that can’t be messed with; but you will still have the power to administrate your servers as a customer of GameServers.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops ships for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on November 9. (ign)

  • Published by: Activision
  • Developed by: Treyarch
  • Genre: First-Person Shooter
  • Release Date: US: November 9, 2010  , Japan: TBA 2010
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • RP-T+ for Rating Pending
  • Also Available On: Nintendo DS, Wireless, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3,  Wii, PC
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Portal 2 ScreenshotLeave it to Valve to give us a pair of robots with more personality than most human characters you’ll see in games. The Seattle based developer finally gave the public a view of the cooperative mode for Portal 2 this week at PAX, and I was one of the first to have a sit down and see what Valve has in store for co-op hungry first-person-puzzle-platform-humor fans when the game releases next February.

In co-op you’ll be playing with a partner as a pair of Robotic Test Subjects, engineered to be fearless and apparently not too bright either. One player wields orange and red portals, and the other blue and purple. This cool vs. warm color scheme really helps to keep things straight when the portalry goes crazy, as does the visual difference between the two robots. There’s a tall one and a short, fat one, and both are very expressive in ways that are immediately apparent but surprisingly simple, from simple gestures (which the players can initiate themselves) to “looks” on their “faces,” if you will.

There were plenty of examples of stuff we’ve already seen in single player previews, such as the thermal discouragement beams (read: lasers) and refraction cubes, though it was pretty funny watching one player refract some discouragement in the direction of their teammate. But Valve also had a few new elements on display.

The first, most important, and most head slapping “I can’t believe we don’t see this in more games” addition is the “ping” system. Each player can set markers around the levels to indicate where they’d like their partner to fire a portal. Valve explained that this is something complementary to voice chat, since even when your partner can hear you, it’s hard to really accurately describe where “over there” is.

Portal 2 ScreenshotThe other new addition is the “Hard Light Bridge.” These are bridges made of, well, hard light that can be routed using portals to access particular areas. These require very careful manipulation, as one wrong portal toss can divert the bridge and send pairs of robot companions into unhappy circumstances.

Of course, it just wouldn’t be Portal without GlaDos chiming in, and she’s in fine form. From making sure that players know exactly who got to a portal gun first, and who’s doing better during each stage.

Other incidental bits of Portal’s clever writing are also apparent in the some puzzle layouts’ potential for comedy. The final puzzle Valve showed the crowd involved the momentum loops from the first game. You remember them, even if they had no practical application: you’d place one portal on the floor and another directly over it and jump in, building up terrifying levels of speed. The co-op aspect allows some very particular uses, like building up your partners speed, opening a portal on a different wall and watching them fly across a chamber. Then the standing player opened a new portal on a slanted platform, flinging their partner across a toxic moat… into a wall, which they sort of splattered against, sliding into the deadly goop below.

Valve used this as a chance to demonstrate a little robot reconciliation, as the careless portal thrower initiated a crafty hug maneuver with his pal to demonstrate that there were no hard feelings between test subjects. I’ll be honest. It was very cute. Valve didn’t say whether there would be any gameplay implications to robot cuddling, but for a game so dependent on demanding cooperation, a hug here and there might be just the thing to ensure peaceful coexistence between partners.

Other than that, well, it’s Portal, really. The cooperative mode so far looks to be bringing all of the things that made the first Portal so special, and with a cooperative campaign that Valve predicts will last about twice as long as the original games length, and we’ve got a lot of a good thing to look forward to next year. (ign)

Published by: Valve
Developed by: Nuclear Monkey SoftwareValve
Genre: First-Person  Shooter
Release Date: US: February 9, 2011
MSRP: $59.99
RP for Rating Pending
Also Available On: Xbox 360, Mac, PC

Archetype (iPad)

Posted: August 25, 2010 in iPhone/iPad/iPod
Tags: , , ,

First N.O.V.A., now Archetype. When two of the best shooters for the iPhone unsuccessfully make the transition to iPad, you have the question whether or not the tablet is a suitable destination for the genre. Of course, it doesn’t help that Villain made little effort in the porting process. This is a straight across port with only a few new features — but no new functionality to take advantage of the different platform. I cannot believe I’m using this word to describeArchetype on iPad, which is such an amazing iPhone game, but here it is: lazy.

For the general idea behind Archetype, read my iPhone review.Because the iPad edition is a basic port, not much about the set-up has changed. When you first begin Archetype, you create a login that stays with you – but only on that specific device. This is another crushing disappointment with Archetype for iPad. All that hard work you did to level up on the iPhone? Right now, it’s worthless. You cannot use the same login for the iPad game; you have to start over. That’s craziness – and immediately off-putting for Archetype fans that supported the game since the beginning and made it such a hit in the App Store. Villain promises an update for transferring your profile soon — so unless you’re brand-new to Archetype, you should just wait.

It’s not just the login issue that weighs down Archetype. The controls are fixed; you cannot adjust them. Why not? At least N.O.V.A. allowed you to move the buttons and sticks. I understand fixed controls on the iPhone where real estate is at a premium, but because the iPad is such much larger and heavier, you need to let the player reconfigure the controls so they are comfortable. The size of the virtual sticks are scaled up for the iPad, which makes sense in theory, but it doesn’t work well here. I don’t have NBA player hands. You fire by tapping outside of the look stick. My thumb barely gets across the stick, so it’s never easy to take a shot and return to looking – all while balancing the iPad and running around the arenas.

The iPad version of Archetype does have a new stage – Avarice – and an all-new mode called Rocket Arena. These are good additions and I do like that Archetype’s multiplayer works across multiple platforms. If you’re on iPad, you can play against somebody on an iPhone. That’s smart stuff.

Archetype runs quite well on the iPad. In multiplayer matches over WiFi, everything ran smoothly with no noticeable hiccups. I think Archetype pops a bit more on the iPhone 4, but this version does look very good. The weapons are nicely constructed and well decorated, especially the one-hit kill battle axe. (ign)

Published by: Villain
Developed by: Munkyfun
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Number of Players: 1-10
Release Date: US: August 19, 2010
MSRP: $4.99
Also Available On: iPhone, iPad
Also known as: Archetype

Call of Duty: Black Ops Screenshot

Call of Duty : Black Ops set the world of online multiplayer ablaze today. The latest trailer provided us with the first ever look at what combat over Xbox Live and PlayStation Network would entail for Treyarch fans come this November. There’s a lot of stuff to be excited about, so if you haven’t watched the actual trailer for yourself, be sure to do so. Then, once you’re done with that, we’ve got a new Rewind Theater that breaks down the video piece by piece. If you’re still not clear what all the hubbub is about, we’re here with an easy-to-read bullet point list. Doesn’t get much simpler than that, does it?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Screenshot Customize Everything

Customization is a big deal for any massively popular multiplayer game. Players  need to look as different as possible so their personalities can stand out amongst  the millions of other character models online. Well, Black Ops not only lets you  customize things like your emblem and title (both of which pop up on your  opponent’s screen when you kill them) as Modern Warfare before it, but it now  allows you to customize the appearance of your red dot sight. The guy in the trailer  used an adorable little smiley face, but there’s sure to be massive amounts of other  options to make your soldier your own.

Kickass Replay Editor

Now anyone can hop into Black Ops and create their own sequences that will surely be better than the trash that was Far Cry. The system seems similar to what Bungie did for Halo in that the game stores entire rounds for your perusal. You can stay in your first-person camera angle or hop out and free roam to (presumably) anywhere on the map, decide what footage is worth keeping, then save it to your sequence. It also appears that these clips can be pulled from different games and put into the same sequence with simple transitions between pieces of gameplay. You’ll then upload your sequence (or screenshot) to somewhere on the web. Whether that’s an Activision community site, YouTube or something else entirely remains to be seen.

Dive, Dive, Dive!

Much like Kelsey Grammer in Down Periscope, gamers will now have the ability to  dive to the ground in-game. We’re not exactly sure how this is going to work  control-wise, but we think it’ll either be a button re-mapped to new functionality or  some sort of jump-to-prone combo move. Either way, the implications are huge in t  the land of multiplayer. It could either ruin the experience if people can exploit the  mechanic (diving under levels or into objects) or it could change the entire series  for the better. It’s just up to Treyarch to solidify the mechanic so there isn’t a bug in  sight (good luck, guys).

Spy Technology

The camera spike might’ve seemed like a needless accessory in its short time in the multiplayer trailer, but I think the implications for the new piece of surveillance equipment are huge. Sure, you can plant it in a secluded corner of a room and just watch, but when that room contains a flag that your team needs to guard, the camera’s abilities become a perfect fit. Not to mention the fact that you can have eyes in the back of your head so you can guard that open door without having to continuously rotate to check on it every few seconds. Now I’m just hoping you’ll be able to detonate your camera and kill any enemy who approaches.

New Things That Go Boom… And Some That Don’t

There were quite a few new armaments shown in the first multiplayer  trailer. The ballistic knife was probably my favorite. Perhaps not for  overall usability, but the cool factor of being able to toss the knife into an  enemy’s back, then run up and double-stab his buddy’s face is pretty great.  But then there’s also the new sticky grenade, the napalm kill streak ability  that brings fire from the sky, the remote control bomb car kill streak  ability, and the user-controlled rocket (we’re not sure if it’s a perk, kill  streak ability or a simple weapon).

We’ll have more on Call of Duty: Black Ops on September 2 when we’ll go hands-on with the multiplayer for the very first time.

  • Published by: Activision
  • Developed by: Treyarch
  • Genre: First-Person  Shooter
  • Release Date: US: November 9, 2010 , Japan: TBA 2010
  • MSRP: $59.99
  • RP-T+ for Rating Pending
  • Also Available On: Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, XBox 360, Wii, PC

(via ign)