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Monday, April 25, 2011

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Civilization V: Polynesia DLC Released
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 1 comment

Aspyr Media recently released a new scenario pack for the Mac version of Sid Meier's Civilization V. The new add-on includes the new Polynesian civilization and a new scenario revolving around four Polynesian kingdoms.

The Polynesian Scenario Pack brings you both the Polynesian Civilization and a new Scenario, Paradise Found. Rule the world as Kamehameha, unifier of Hawai'i, with your powerful navy and imposing Moai statues!

In Paradise Found, players take on the role of one of the four great Polynesian kingdoms as they strive to become the dominant culture in Polynesia. All-new technology and social policy trees unlock powerful advantages to players, including the fearsome Maori Warrior and the enigmatic Moai. Special changes to the game rules allow players to build expansive kingdoms quickly without impeding their cultural growth, but the seas of the Pacific are huge and land is at a premium among the atolls and islands. Take the best islands for yourself, and prove your mana as a ruler as you build Polynesia to stand the test of time!

Polynesia Ruler – Kamehameha
Kamehameha was the first ruler to unite all of the Big Islands of Hawaii under his rule in 1791, and reformed many of the island's laws to protect its people. Because of his strong rule and wise policies, Hawai’i remained an independent kingdom long after Kamehameha’s death in 1819.

The Polynesian DLC is available for $4.99 (USD). Learn more at the links below.

Buy Civilization V: Civilization and Scenario Pack - Polynesia
Aspyr Media
Civilization V
Buy Civilization V

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World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Worthplaying has posted a new review of Blizzard Entertainment's Cataclysm expansion for World of Warcraft. Cataclysm allows 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.

Cataclysm changes almost every zone to some extent, shuffling zone levels around and twisting things in various directions. The vast canyon of the Thousand Needles is now a vast, flooded canyon, with no Horde or Alliance outposts, meaning that no old quests remain unadjusted. The old zones don't merely have new quest lines, though. There are not as many minigames in the 1-60 game as in the zones in Northrend or the new zones, but Blizzard tries to throw in clever twists every so often to keep things from getting stale. In particular, many more quests involve custom items to do things, and there seems to be at least one minigame in every zone, including a rather fully realized Plants vs. Zombies minigame. (This must've had PopCap's permission, since the reward is a sunflower that sings the PvZ theme.)
Check out the link below to read more.

Worthplaying: World Of Warcraft Reviewed
Blizzard Entertainment
World Of Warcraft: Cataclysm

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Discussing EVE Online
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

In a new interview with Massively, EVE Online's senior producer discussed ongoing work on CCP Games' space based sci-fi MMO. Topics addressed include the long promised Incarna - which will introduce player avatars, content additions for new players, and the Captain's Quarters.

We heard that the captain's quarters would be heavily used in the new player experience. Do you think that introducing players to themselves as an avatar before themselves as a spaceship will help players see that their ships are tools used to get a job done?

Hopefully, because people are way too afraid of losing their ships. The one thing we noticed was that in any other game you start out as an avatar in a very safe, secure environment. That's just something people are used to and it's something they expect when they go to a new game. Being able to identify with an avatar gives you more connection and flattens out the learning curve just a little bit. In some aspects, it is definitely targeted at easing the transition for new players into what is essentially very new to everyone who tries out EVE. This is not like something they've played before, so giving them a hint of home in that is an important thing.

Head over to the link below for the full article.

Massively: EVE Online Interview
CCP Games
EVE Online

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The Story Of Dragon Age 2
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Bitmob has posted a new interview with Bioware's David Gaidar. The head writer for the Dragon Age series discussed the unique challenges associated with crafting a story for Dragon Age 2. The game puts players in the role of Hawke and allows them to guide the story of the legend's rise to power.

How was it different writing a framed narrative for Dragon Age 2? What were the ups and downs to this kind of story?

David Gaider: It’s an unusual story structure for us, considering we normally start the player at a particular point in time and just proceed from there…you follow your character through every step they take.

With a framed narrative, we were able to focus instead on important parts of the main character’s life and have events develop over a period of time rather than happening all at once. This also allowed us to show quests having an effect in the next time period rather than only focusing on what the player does in that quest in the present.

On the downside, it does require a segmentation of the story that wouldn’t otherwise be required -- meaning you have to bring the player to a bottleneck in the plot where they can be jumped forward into the next time period, a jump that can’t be reversed once it’s done. Therefore, you need a way to telegraph to the player, “anything you want to complete in this time period you’d better do now,” and that proved to be more problematic to do than we’d thought. Still, on the whole, I’d say it allowed us to tell a very different kind of tale.

For more of the interview follow the link below.

Bitmob: Dragon Age 2 Story Interview
Dragon Age 2
Buy Dragon Age 2

Mac Games News for Friday, April 22, 2011

Anomaly Warzone Earth Now At Macgamestore6:00 AM
IMG Reviews Bejeweled 36:00 AM
LEGO Indiana Jones 2 Reviewed6:00 AM
Two Worlds II: Castle Defense Announced6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, April 22, 2011 on one page

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