Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures, Funcom’s highly anticipated PC/Xbox 360 online RPG, is bowing out of the crowded Fall ‘07 release window. Based on the press release, it sounds like given the scale of the game, the development team just needed more time to polish and perfect the experience.
“We naturally regret that we have to push back ‘Age of Conan’. However, after careful consideration, and analysis of recent Beta feedback, we believe that the new release date is in the best interest of the gamers, our company and our owners,” said Trond Arne Aas, CEO of Funcom.
You have to respect a developer that delays a game to make it better, and doesn’t just shove it out the door for the sake of the company’s shareholders. At any rate, MMO players can now look forward to slashing their way through the world and characters of Robert E. Howard on March 25th, 2008.
Read More | Kotaku
With Call of Duty 4, series creator Infinity Ward is determined to change a lot of things. Aside from the obvious temporal leap forward from World War II to the present, the game is set to provide us with a pretty unique multiplayer offering. Imagine a game that offers a variety of character and equipment upgrades as you gain combat experience. Sounds like an RPG, doesn’t it? In fact, what we have here is a unique blend of shooter and RPG elements that gives players the chance to create a custom supersoldier as they improve.
Although Call of Duty 4 is still a shooter like many others, its multiplayer modes are slated to include a bevy of opportunites to earn skill points. These points may be earned via straight kills, assists, or headshots, as well as by more unorthodox means such as by killing a foe through a wall or even taking a dive off a building. These points will lead to promotions through the military ranks and the availability of new weapons, more powerful ammo, or unique tactical advantages. For example, you may be able to automatically drop a live grenade at your feet whenever you’re killed. In order to keep players from getting too powerful, some of the more devastating upgrades will feature drawbacks designed to level the field somewhat. This level of customization looks like an exciting new direction for the genre that should allow each player to build a character suited to his or her own style. Combined with a variety of new maps and gameplay modes, Call of Duty 4 could be a winner with tons of variety. We can expect a playable beta version later this month, and the game itself is scheduled for a November release. Keep an eye out for it!
Read More | Gamespot
2K Games has announced that BioShock is gold and they also managed to sneak a demo of the game onto Xbox Live Marketplace. The 1.35 GB download has caused a flood of traffic, and some are reporting errors or stalls when trying to get their hands on a copy. If only PC gamers had such problems; 2K did confirm that they would be releasing a PC demo, but said only that it would be coming “later this month.”
Early reviews for the game have been exceedingly positive and with the game only a little more than a week from release, this should help hold you over for the next eight days.
Read More | Major Nelson
People always ask, “Why buy the newest Madden game? They’re all the same.” Well, here’s one very cut-and-dry reason you can use to explain: because, eventually, these game’s servers get taken down. EA is planning to take down 42 games’ servers on September 1 (although many of these are the same game across multiple platforms), and an additional seven on November 1. This isn’t a new trend, as there’s a sizable list of servers for EA games that have gone offline over time.
Apparently there really is a reason to pick up that newest Madden.
September 1, 2007 Online Service Shutdown
- Arena Football for PlayStation 2
- Arena Football for Xbox
- FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox 360
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PC
- FIFA06 for PC
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation 2
- FIFA Soccer 06 for PlayStation Portable
- FIFA Soccer 06 for Xbox
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PC
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation 2
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for PlayStation Portable
- FIFA World Cup 2006 for Xbox
- Fight Night Round 3 for PlayStation Portable
- Fight Night Round 3 for Xbox
Check out the full list of September and November shutdowns after the break.
Originally scheduled for a September release, Blacksite: Area 51 has been pushed back until November 5. The announcement was made during a Midway conference call, where the European release date was revealed to be October 26.The game is set for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
This is a smart move be Midway, as Blacksite would otherwise be competing more directly with Halo 3, and by releasing in November, they also manage to space the title away from heavy-hitter Grand Theft Auto IV.
NCsoft’s upcoming MMORPG Tabula Rasa certainly seems to be shaping up nicely – as well it should be considering how long the game has been in development for. Finally scheduled for release this fall, one of the game’s features includes the ability to harness the power of LOGOS (which is what that strange image is to the right). As the developers put it:
In Tabula Rasa, you are a Logos-receptive soldier of the AFS, and are able to learn the language of Logos at shrines throughout the worlds you travel to. Not only can your knowledge of Logos be used to activate special abilities that can help the AFS win this war, but the ancient symbols you uncover can also unlock hidden locations where you can further your training and enhance your skills. Ancient secrets will be revealed to you as you collect more and more Logos to your tablet.
Intrigued? Check after the break for screenshots and a description of the power of LOGOS.
We’ve got an exclusive first look at some of the friendly NPCs you’ll be meeting along the way in your journey through Guild Wars: Eye of the North. Eye of the North is the first expansion in the Guild Wars series – prior GW titles were standalone, but connected with one another, whereas Eye of the North will require you to own a previous GW campaign. The prerelease bonus pack is now available, with the game’s release set for August 31.
Check after the break for the first ever look at these friends from Eye of the North - longtime Guild Wars fans might spot a familiar face.
Available now over at GuildWars.com is an in-game trailer that gives a peek (a sneak peek to the upcoming Sneak Peek, more on that here) into the upcoming Guild Wars expansion, Eye of the North. Set for release on August 31, the expansion will require you to own one of the previous Guild Wars titles, unlike the other campaigns which were full games in and of themselves.
The trailer, which runs for just under two minutes, is narrated by presumably Gwen (remember the little girl from the Guild Wars Prophecies?) who is now all grown up. Eye of the North doesn’t offer much eye candy – it is using the same Guild Wars engine that’s several years old now – but if you’re a Guild Wars fan, as I am, it’ll get you plenty excited for this segue to Guild Wars 2.
Read More | GuildWars.com
Starting last Friday, the prerelease bonus pack for the upcoming Guild Wars expansion is available for purchase. By picking up the bonus pack, you’ll receive exclusive in-game items and access to the Sneak Peek Weekend, which is taking place from August 24 – 26. The game is set for release on August 31 and is the first expansion Guild Wars is receiving – all three previous titles were independent (albeit connected) of one another, whereas Eye of the North requires that you own at least one of the previous Guild Wars titles.
In addition to the sneak peek and in-game items (which are the Glacial Blade, Hourglass Staff, and Darksteel Longbow), you’ll also receive a Guild Wars Trilogy Trial DVD, which provides you with either 10 hours or 14 days (whichever comes first) of gameplay in the first three Guild Wars titles. Not a bad way to lure in a friend if you already own them.
The Guild Wars: Eye of the North prerelease bonus pack is available at retailers, NCsoft’s online store, PlayNC.com, and the Official Guild Wars online store.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we learned about Hellgate: London as I got a tour of a few levels with Tyler Thompson, Flagship Studio’s director of technology.
Release date: Still shooting for summer 2007 - which, let’s face it, is right now. According to Tyler, “We’re still working for that. If it takes a little bit longer, then we’ll let it take a little bit longer.” In industry speak that means, “If you don’t see it by August, you’ll see it for the holidays.”
Look: Flagship Studios, at its top levels, is populated by ex-Blizzard brains, including Diablo creators Erich Schaefer and David Brevik (and don’t forget Bill Roper, who played an integral role in the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series). So, think Diablo, but much, much better looking. Tyler told me that the game is in the alpha stage. I’m used to seeing games in alpha looking a bit rough around the edges. This game was, in the levels he toured me, free of jaggies and visual glitches. The word that comes to mind is “shiny.” I found it to be very reminiscent of Diablo in look and feel. Of course, bear in mind the tour was guided, which means I only got to see the best looking areas.
The biggest improvement in look, and, ultimately, playability, is the improved camera from Diablo 2. Gone is the fixed, third-person isometric camera in favor of 360-degree, fully rotational viewing.
More after the break.