Friday, 31 August 2012

DarksidersII CA

With Joe Maduriera at the artistic helm of DarkSiders 2 there was always going to be some stunning concept art. While there is some nice art on the main site, ConceptArtWorld have posted a slew more that includes a wonderful array of weapon designs showing single weapon evolution as well as an array of styles and types. The post has lots more artwork of environments and so forth - go look!


[Darksiders2 Concept art via ConceptArtWorld]

Monday, 27 August 2012

GW2 Intro

I didnt really expect to find myself in there playing Guild Wars 2, there on the prelaunch weekend with zillions of other people - but somehow that is where I was. The kids and I created three mighty Norn and set out to explore the new world of Tyria.

First up, yes it was kinda mental with the business of the websites and servers etc, but considering it was the first day, things actually went far better than I expected. Once inside the game the first piece of joy is the wonderful character creation system, even inside one race/profession/sex combo there is a vast array of options to tinker with. If you are anything like me, you will have spent so much time in this part, that the game will time-out on you and just mercilessly hurl you back to the start screen where you can start all over again. That may sound like a complaint, but it really isnt, I only really looked around in the Norn, and the girls are gorgeous and the guys are mighty. (check this thread on duguild for images of all the race/class combos)

Once you get into the game, it really assumes you know how to play games of this type, so the tutorials/tips are about the differences in GW2 rather than how to play. The world looks stunning on a nice graphics sub-system and that really adds to the thrill, so it was with hair waving and my short skirt I headed out to see if this was really going to be different to other MMOs.

A few screenshots of the character creation and the world with Meridoom in Ferguson’s Crossing.
GW2 Race Selection screenshot

GW2 Male Norn Profession Selection screenshot

GW2 Female Norn Warrior tattoo selection screenshot

GW2 Female Norn hair selection screenshot

GW2 Meridoom snowy peaks screenshot

GW2 Meridoom Norn settlement screenshot

GW2 Meridoom forest screenshot

GW2 Meridoom dance move screenshot

GW2 Meridoom battle screenshot
One of the key things in the leadup for this title was the idea that they were moving away from the characters and creatures in the world being static, standing around or moving on a path without purpose. This is perhaps the single element of the MMO space that for me is in most need of fixing and GW2 promised some salvation. Alas, that was just wishful thinking, if there is a difference here it is very subtle indeed - as far as I can tell it all works in exactly the same way as any other modern MMO. Yes there are little events like the invading Centaurs, but that just comes around every so often and whether we join in the event or not doesnt seem to alter the zone in any perceptible way. Maybe because there were so many people that all the events were completed, but that didnt stop them coming in the same way each time in the same spot.
There are still hordes of 'locals' just standing around doing nothing, occasionally there will be a nice surprise as an NPC will race up to you because they have something to tell you, but those are rare.
This is a major bummer really as this was the thing I was most looking forward to seeing...

The combat is pretty fun and frantic with everyone joining in the fray and the abilities come thick and fast as you try out different weapon combos. Much like The Secret World, a great deal of your options come from your weapon type choices. The PVPside (World_v_World) wasnt alive while I was in there, no doubt they want to get everything settled before they kick off the first round.

Anyhow, from our first forays it is a fun game, not as revolutionary as they made out, but fun for us Norn of Ferguson’s Crossing. More detailed look at this game to come after more playtime...

Sunday, 26 August 2012


It is funny how we now think of Microsoft as something of a little underdog, with giants like Apple and Google out there, yet the Redmond crowd are still big and have Win8 coming ever closer, and I for one applaud their bravery here, a unified OS - though I am still skeptical about the realisation - I am willing to give them a try. At least I can get Metro Apps onto the second monitor now and other changes. Microsoft Surface extends this touch-centric evolution and it was fun to play with and has great potential. Plus they now have a new logo...