Now if I said Muslim Gamer was at Gamescom 2011…id be lying. So the best we can do for you is give you a roundup of the news! As a Muslim in the month of Ramadan, I’m trying to be as pious as I can during this month and focus on things that aren’t all gaming. So as the big news hits all the mags and sites across thew world, rather than doing lots of little updates, ill do some round ups so I can do my Iftar and get to Taraweeh and you can read all about Gamescom 2011 news.
If you aren’t aware already, Muslim Gamer is a big Battlefield fan. So when Amazon UK revealed that to date, BF3 has been pre-ordered 23 times more than Battlefield 2, it wasnt a surprise to us. So what does 23 times more mean? Roughly 2300% more pre-orders than Battlefield 2. In Australia we cant get most of the stuff available on Amazon, but for you overseas Muslim Gamers, Amazon currently has a pre-order deal which includes an exclusive set of multiplayer dog-tag designs.
Thatgamecompany, the makers of Flow and Flower released an amazing looking trailer for their new PS3 game “Journey”. No big guns or explosions, just tranquil music and gorgeous graphics wait you. Gamesradar interviewed them recently about the upcoming game and had this to say ,
“Players will recognize similar themes as in our previous titles, but we have further elaboration and story in this title,” Santiago explains. That story is told through brief cutscenes that look like cave drawings, showing the tragic death of an entire people. Quickly you realize that the Journey isn’t about getting to the mountain – it’s about learning what happened to these people and what your place in this world actually is. As you explore, more and more graves appear, especially around ruins of huge buildings, implying that this race of people had something to do with their own demise. Considering the themes of destruction of nature in Flower, we don’t think that assessment would be too far off the mark.
Oh Morrowind, how many hours, days, weeks did you take away from me. Here is an interesting True Fact for you: Back in the day when I realised I had a Morrowind addiction and it was time to let go, I gave the game out to a couple friends who lived together so they too could experience Elder Scrolls. They got so hooked up in the game they actually had a roster as to who got to play the game on what day on the wall….
Now back to Gamescom news. Turns out that while Skyrim will be published under Games for Windows Live –Microsoft’s own DRM system, it wont be be using the Live part of it, so the saves and DLC wont be tied into it. Many gamers that have had to deal with GFWL and its bugs will appreciate the news that Steam has won this war and it will be tied into that platform instead.
You’re a master at Diablo 3 hey? You pwn with you’re maxed out character hey? Well fear not as Blizzard Entertainments game director Jay Wilson told Kotaku that there will be a fourth difficulty level called “Inferno”. Apparently Inferno will be “very difficult, very challenging” and feature a “flattened” difficulty experience that will ensure the challenge never ends. The new difficulty level is for players who reach the level 60 player cap because from that point on every monster will be a level 61 or greater and feature greater health, damage, damage resistances and aggression. By comparison, Diablo II featured a maximum character level of 99, but the enemies were limited to a maximum level of 85.
Crytek came about from a couple of Turkish brothers, so I can only “ASSUME” that they are Muslims too, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be as 99.99% of Turks are Muslims. The developers of the Crysis series of games have released their SDK for FREE! So for all you budding Muslim designers and developers, that’s some pretty good news!
“For those who want to make the step into commercial gaming, we’ll offer a royalty-only license model for games made with this SDK, where Crytek require only 20% of the developer’s revenues from the commercial launch of their game.”
Cevat Yerli the president of Crytek also announced that Warface, their planned free to play game which was initially targeted at the Asian audience has now been slated for a release in the west. Cevat said that the future of gaming is Free to Play and that they developed Warface with the intention of launching it as a Free to Play game around 4 years ago. I guess that shows how long this stuff is in the pipeline before it actually hits the lime light. Check out the video below for an interesting interview with the man himself.
Valve offers an olive branch to EA
Valve released their DOTA 2 trailer at Gamescom together with a 1 million dollar give away during the DOTA 2 International too. During an interview the big man himself (no pun intended), Gabe hinted that the guys at Valve REALLY like the game,
“I’ve played Dota 2 for about 800 hours. The cool thing about Dota 2 is that it’s probably the game that we’ve made that we’re most obsessed with playing. As a games developer, you tend to get pretty tired of the thing that you’re developing, because you had to experience all the flaws and the difficulties all along. You sort of reach the point where you’re like ‘Let’s just be done with this.’ Dota 2? Every day, after we’re done working on the game, everyone goes home and plays it till 2 or 3 in the morning.”
Another bit of news that made its way on to the interwebs was from an interview Mr Gabe Newell had with Develop.
Previously I had posted about Electronic Arts removal of Crysis and Dragon Age II games from Steam, Valves distribution system. Well soon after that news came out, the web was awash with the new news that Battlefield 3 would not be available through Steam either. In this day and age it seems them fighting words don’t last long. Gabe had the following to say to Develop a few days ago,
“I don’t think Valve can pick just one thing and think the issue would go away if we fixed that, we have to show EA it’s a smart decision to have EA games on Steam, and we’re going to try to show them that.”
One suspected reason for EA’s removal from Steam is Valve’s policies which prevent publishers from selling DLC to users directly through the game. Instead, Valve requires DLC to be sold through Steam, from which Valve takes a cut of every purchase.
“Companies have to earn the right to install content on their customers’ PCs on a regular basis,” Newell said. “The same thing is true of Steam. We have to prove we are creating value on an ongoing basis, whether it’s to EA or Ubisoft or whoever.
“We really want to show there’s a lot of value having EA titles on Steam. We want EA’s games on Steam and we have to show them that’s a smart thing to do.
“I think at the end of the day we’re going to prove to Electronic Arts they have happier customers, a higher quality service, and will make more money if they have their titles on Steam. It’s our duty to demonstrate that to them. We don’t have a natural right to publish their games.”
Electronic Arts also recently launched its own distribution service, Origin, which is seen by many in the games industry as a direct competitor to Steam. Electronic Arts has not removed its games from other digital distribution services at this time.
Another interesting bit of information from the DOTA 2 International tournament was that Valve included graphs displaying the players’ excitement levels during matches.
This biofeedback data is collected using a wristband with custom hardware and works by measuring the electrical conductivity of the skin and sending signals to the player’s PC. The game collects this data continuously and plots the last two minutes of the player’s biofeedback history. Swings in a player’s emotional state, both positively and negatively, are represented by spikes in the graph.
Ive included one of the matches below for you, TyLoo vs OK.Nirvana.CN. Check out the DOTA 2 Youtube channel for more videos
Modern Warfare 3
I guess it cant all be about BF3. Im sure there will be many Muslim Modern Warfare 3 Clans too when the game launches later this year so heres a bit of information about MW3. Being an avid PC gamer, the big news for me was IGN reporting that MW3 will have dedicated servers!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 did not have dedicated servers on PC, which caused me not to buy the game at all, I hold grudges like that. Apparently the decision was made because
they realised that they were losing to BF3 in hype and people were more interested in BF3 ACtivision wanted to show PC gamers that they are serious about the platform. Though one concern Activision has with the PC version due to having the dedicated servers, is the fact that it is an open platform and cheating will be easier than it will be on the consoles. With money and prizes up for grabs in “Elite”, the paid membership plans, this could be concerning for those wanting to pay for the extras.
Another interesting article on Kotaku was in regards to Dice’s smack talk hurting EA’s feelings. Head of EA, CEO John Riccitiello recently said he hopes that Call of Duty would “rot from the core”. Now them is fightin words! In Germany, this week, Riccitiello’s counterpart at Actvision, CEO Eric Hirshberg, fired back, defending not just his company’s Call of Duty/Modern Warfare franchise but saying that smack talk like that is bad for everyone making games.
“This isn’t politics,” Hirshberg said, as he wrapped up an awards ceremony keynote at the Gamescom event in Cologne. “In order for one to win, the other doesn’t have to lose. This is an entertainment industry, it’s an innovation industry, and at best, it’s an art form… We shouldn’t be tearing each other apart, fighting for a larger slice of the pie. We should all be focused on trying to grow a bigger pie. If we as an industry act like there are a finite number of games in the world, then there will be.”
While he never mentioned Riccitiello, EA or Battlefield, Hirshberg was clearly talking about them. He called the EA boss’s comments and similar rhetoric “bad for our industry”.
Guild Wars 2
Ill be honest, I never got into World of Warcraft. While I’m sure there are a lot of Muslim Gamers that play World of Warcraft and probably a heap of Muslim Guilds, the only MMO that I played was Warhammer Online. I loved the PVP in Warhammer Online, but due to the lack of support from Bioware\Mythic, I gave up on the game and sold the account. They really don’t deserve my money, so untill they move to a free to play model I’m not interested. So ever since my stint with Warhammer Online finished I have been keeping a close eye on Guild Wars 2. Everything about the PVP aspect looked great, the characters look fantastic and it looks like they have and are putting a lot of effort into balance, something Mythic never did. There were just too many blatantly over powered characters like the Bright Wizard and Warrior Priest.
Unfortunately the news that did come out from Gamescom in regards to the PVP side of Guild Wars 2 wasnt what I hoped. ArenaNet presented a battle arena PvP system that was independent of the main world. Instead of using your own toon, you are made to select from a pre-made character that has their stats maxed out, you just select where the skill points go. Without the World vs World combat and the ability to take your own character into PVP it kind of falls flat. Hopefully what they showed was just a part of the PVP in GW2 and there will be more at PAX next weekend.
Mass Effect 3
Well the Mass Effect series is coming to an end with the 3rd instalment in the series depicting the adventures of Commander Shepard against the Reapers. Bioware has said that the focus will be on streamlining the shooter mechanics while refining the combat. Role playing elements will make a comeback from the first game, with the series continuing the gameplay from the first by making your choices from the first game result in consequences for Mass Effect 3. Fighting is much tighter in the new game, especially with the addition of more powerful melee attacks. For the RPG fans the good news is that the game now has a more diversified power tree, instead of the five or six from the second. The trailer looks good, lets just hope gameplay is good too!
And that rounds up this roundup of Gamescom 2011 so far. With PAX around the corner, who knows what the publishers and developers have hidden away for that event. Muslim Gamer will have another roundup for that too so keep an eye out for that. And remember to help us with testing the Muslim Gamers Forums . We want to launch that in the next week so help us find the bugs
JazakAllah and Ramadan Mubarak!
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