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Friday, April 9, 2010



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StarCraft II Collector's Edition Revealed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 4 comments

Blizzard Entertainment has announced that its highly anticipated real-time strategy game, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, will be available both in a standard edition and in a limited-release Collector's Edition. Players who purchase either edition will be able to play online for no additional fee through the new version of Battle.net.

Collector's Edition Features:
  • The Art of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, a 176-page book featuring artwork from the game
  • An exclusive 2GB USB flash drive replica of Jim Raynor's dog tag, which comes preloaded with the original StarCraft and the StarCraft: Brood War® expansion set
  • A behind-the-scenes DVD containing over an hour of developer interviews, cinematics with director’s commentary, and more
  • The official StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty soundtrack CD, containing 14 epic tracks from the game along with exclusive bonus tracks
  • StarCraft comic book issue #0, a prequel to the comic series
  • A World of Warcraft® mini Thor in-game pet that can be applied to all World of Warcraft characters on a single Battle.net account
  • Exclusive Battle.net downloadable content, including special portraits for your Battle.net profile, decals to customize your units in-game, and a visually unique version of the terran Thor unit

"We've been looking forward to revisiting the StarCraft universe with our players for over 10 years, and we wanted to offer an epic collector's edition that commemorated the occasion," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "This special version of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty -- easily our biggest collector's edition to date -- does just that, and we think StarCraft II gamers will really enjoy all of the exclusive contents."

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty is the sequel to Blizzard Entertainment’s 1998 hit StarCraft, which has been hailed by players and critics worldwide as one of the top real-time strategy games of all time. StarCraft II will once again center on the clash between the protoss, terrans, and zerg, with each side deploying favorite units from the original StarCraft, along with numerous upgraded and brand-new units and abilities that allow for fresh tactics and strategies. The game's new 3D-graphics engine maintains the speed and responsive control of its predecessor while rendering hundreds of units onscreen for massive battles.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty's solo campaign will continue the epic saga where it left off in StarCraft: Brood War. The storyline chronicles the exploits of marshal-turned-rebel-leader Jim Raynor and features both familiar faces and new heroes. Players will be able to tailor the experience, choosing their own mission path and selecting technology and research upgrades to suit their playing style throughout the 29-mission campaign.

Several challenge-mode mini-games will also be included, with focused goals designed to ease players into the basics of multiplayer strategies. In addition, dozens of multiplayer maps will be available for competitive play through the new version of Battle.net, which is launching alongside StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. This new version of the service has been built from the ground up to offer an unparalleled online play experience, with new features such as voice communication, character profiles and achievements, stat-tracking, ladders and leagues, cloud file storage, and more.

StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty will be available on DVD-ROM for Mac and Windows. The standard edition will sell for a suggested retail price of $59.99 and will also be available shortly after release as a download through the online Blizzard Store. The special Collector’s Edition package, which is priced at $99.99, will only be available at retail stores.

Additional information about StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, including the release date, will be announced in the coming weeks.

StarCraft.org: SC II Collector's Edition
Blizzard Entertainment
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty
Buy StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty



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Doctor Who: The Adventure Games Unveiled
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 7 comments

The BBC has unveiled plans for Doctor Who: The Adventure Games for Mac and PC, a downloadable series of four free 'interactive episodes' based on the popular British sci-fi television series. The games will allow players to take the role of The Doctor and will feature the latest incarnation of the time lord and his most recent companion, Amy.

The exact titles of the four episodes are being kept secret for the time being, but the four original stories will take players on a journey throughout time and space, including one location from the Doctor Who series which has never been seen before on screen. Players will encounter new and original monsters, in stories which form part of the overall Doctor Who canon.

"Children don't just watch Doctor Who - they join in. They make up games, invent their monsters, create their own stories," says Steven Moffat, Head Writer and Executive Producer, Doctor Who. "Now, there's something else - now they can be the Doctor in brand new episodes. Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will offer fans of the Doctor a unique opportunity to enter his world, face his challenges and grapple with his deadliest foes.  
 
"By developing these games alongside the new TV series, we've been able to weave exciting narrative strands with the very finest game design to create a new kind of Doctor Who, which can be enjoyed by the whole family."
 
"There aren't 13 episodes of Doctor Who this year," adds Piers Wenger, Head of Drama, BBC Wales and Executive Producer, Doctor Who. "There are 17 - four of which are interactive. Everything you see and experience within the game is part of the Doctor Who universe: we'll be taking you to places you've only ever dreamed about seeing - including locations impossible to create on television."

"Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will offer the chance for Doctor Who fans to visit places they've only dreamed off, facing off against monsters they've previously had to imagine," concludes Anwen Aspden, Executive Producer, BBC Wales Online. "Players will visit places which have never been shown on television - and these will go on to define the look and feel of future TV episodes."

These four new adventures will take the form of downloadable computer games available for PC and Mac, in which players assume control of the Doctor and Amy as they embark on new adventures which complement the new TV series.
 
Doctor Who: The Adventure Games has been produced by a team drawing on the very best talent from TV and gaming. The interactive episodes are executive produced by Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger, Beth Willis and Anwen Aspden (BBC Wales Interactive), alongside Charles Cecil, one of videogaming's most revered creators. The games are being developed by Sumo Digital, one of the UK's best game designers. Stories and scripts are from Phil Ford (co-writer Doctor Who 'Waters of Mars') and James Moran (Severance, Torchwood Children of Earth). The project has been commissioned for BBC Online by the Vision Multiplatform team, headed up by Simon Nelson, and is being driven by BBC Wales Interactive.
 
Matt Smith and Karen Gillan have been digitally recreated in-game, and have provided full voice-overs. Music has been provided by TV series' composer Murray Gold. An additional cast will portray original characters and classic enemies.

The first episode of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will be available to download for PC and Mac from the BBC website in June 2010. Its title will be revealed at a special press event on April 21st.

Follow the links below for more information.

Doctor Who: The Adventure Games
BBC



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Discussing Two Worlds II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gaming Lives has posted a new interview with Reality Pump CEO Mirek Dymek about the company's upcoming RPG, Two Worlds II. The game will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

Should we expect to see the reputation system in Two Worlds II and, if so, will it play a major role in the storylines?
Faction dynamics is an extremely important aspect of “Two Worlds II”. In the first Two Worlds, faction affiliations were present but their existence was limited. As the player gained ranks in a faction they were given several rewards in the form of discounted items and additional quests. In “Two Worlds II”, the player’s choices in faction-affiliated quests have a direct outcome with other opposing and allying factions as well as with the rest of the world. The player will have to choose the quests he chooses to accept from different factions very carefully – because alienating opposing factions will lead to the closure of alternative quest arcs. In addition to the benefits of the discounted items and quests, allied factions will offer the player skills and items that cannot be accessed anywhere else.

Antaloor Post issue 6 talked about the new “CRAFT” system where players could create their own weaponry and armor… does this mean that everyone can have their own unique armor or are there any restrictions?
CRAFT technology symbolizes a revolutionary metallurgy system which enables the player to individually design his own weapons and armor. The possibilities are practically endless. The appearance and quality of objects can be modified using various “basic ingredients” like metals, woods and textiles.
And magic artifacts also boost the value of the player’s best creations. All creations can be broken down into their individual parts and re-used. The player can also find pots containing colors and dye his armor to match his tastes. The CRAFT system also enables excellent Balancing. There’s no fast track to unnatural super weapons here: the price for a weapons upgrade increases each time and the effectiveness of the upgrade is reduced with each work step.

How will the combat system in Two Worlds II differ from Two Worlds?
I thought you’d never ask! I’m really proud to be able to tell you that we have completely redesigned the whole combat system! It was a huge task to make combat in Antaloor a lot more vital and much more sophisticated – but we wanted it that way. So we implemented an extremely complex system using standard and special attacks – and thanks to the MoSens system we succeeded in integrating these attacks into the game – and they all flow together beautifully in the game… but let’s get back to the combat part of your question. The player has three different basic attacks – a normal strike, a lunge and a leaping attack. These three are supplemented by active parrying with a weapon or a shield. If the player has distributed his skill points accordingly, more special moves will open up for him – and if he executes these moves successfully, he’ll even get a short video sequence of his actions! Highlights of these moves include a Finishing Move and felling an opponent with a karate kick! Flexible execution of this move is very important, because an opponent will notice if the same attack is always used – he will then change his defenses to match that attack and the damage caused will be steadily reduced. This can’t happen if an attack is flexible and varied!
Check out the rest of the interview at the site below.

Gaming Lives: Two Worlds II Interview
Two Worlds II
Buy Two Worlds II



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WoW: Cataclysm Shaman Class Overview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Blizzard Entertainment has posted some new information about upcoming features in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the next expansion pack for the ever popular MMO. The update focuses on changes and new game mechanics for the Shaman class.

The expansion will allow players to adventure as two new playable races, bring their characters to level 85, take on challenging quests and dungeons in all-new zones, and experience dramatic changes to familiar aspects of the game in the wake of a world-shattering disaster.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, we’ll be making lots of changes and additions to class talents and abilities across the board. In this preview, you’ll get an early look at some of the changes in store for the shaman class, including a rundown of some of the new spells, abilities, and talents, and an overview of how the new Mastery system will work with the different talent specs.

New Shaman Spells:
Primal Strike (available at level 3): Primal Strike is a new weapon-based attack that every shaman will learn very early in the game. Our goal with this ability is to make leveling as Enhancement rather than as Elemental more viable, since many key Enhancement talents become available at fairly high levels.

Healing Wave (level 4): While the shaman already has an ability called Healing Wave, we’re adding another spell to the class’s direct-healing arsenal and giving it a familiar name. The current Healing Wave will be renamed Greater Healing Wave, and the intent is for the “new” Healing Wave to be the shaman’s go-to heal. Lesser Healing Wave and Greater Healing Wave will be used on a more situational basis.
Click over to the links below to learn more.

BlizzPlanet: Cataclysm Shaman Class Overview
Blizzard Entertainment
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm


Mac Games News for Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jewel Quest 4: Heritage Now Available6:00 AM
New Screenshots Unveiled For The Sims 3: Ambitions6:00 AM
Runesoft Releases Winter Games6:00 AM
Two Worlds II Previewed6:00 AM
 
View all of the Mac games news for Thursday, April 8, 2010 on one page


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