Two days ago, the USA version of The Chronicles of Spellborn, published by Acclaim went F2P. Today they made this step official. You can go to their website, register a free account and download the about 3GB, install and start playing. I recommend it, as TCOS features a new, active and live fighting system (which I like very much). It also has a very believable world, which does not follow any large license but cooks its own soup. Something I like, as it also encourages you to explore. Now, you can make up your mind yourself as it is free! For those that already played TCOS at the beginning, please note: It has changed nearly completely in my opinion! It is far more user friendly, the interface got better, the guidance, the environment more lively…
It was announced some weeks ago that the European Servers shutdown and The Chronicles of Spellborn will nevertheless continue as a F2P, beginning from next year. This is fantastic, as so many good but not great MMOs (like Tabula Rasa) just get lost in the Windows Trashcan because of shutdowns. The European servers have been shutdown already, but now Acclaim announced that the US Version is F2P from today on but will not feature any updates or patches until the official relaunch. In my opinion it is worth it. And as it is free now it has enough content to keep you playing for a while. And let’s see… maybe you like it!
The Chronicles of Spellborn
The Chronicles of Spellborn was a bold try to do something completely out of line from UO, Everquest or World of Warcraft. The studio from Netherlands licensed the Unreal 2.5 engine and created their own story, their own environment, their own world! Main focus was put on the fighting system, which features a complex looking but very special and good kind of active and live fighting, with skill-based tiers. Moving, jumping, attacking from behind gets more interactive and it encourages to test your skill-tiers, similar to Guild Wars, because of the alignment and limitations in the slots.
Unfortunately TCOS could not fully keep up to the (and my) expectations. It was polished but too little content was available. Some people also argued that the quest descriptions were missing concrete directions. I liked that, as it was no following arrows and points but really reading the quests, the logs, the text. As the quest and discussion system also features some kind of answer selection, sometimes you can change your stand and the mood of NPCs to you. Something I also like.
So, just head over to the official website and download the game. It is worth at least a quick look and maybe the community will bring Spellborn back to live, somehow like Ryzom.
How? This cannot be possible. This must be a joke. Please be joking. In reality they finished Duke Nukem 4 Ever and will release it. Broussard told everyone that they hit a milestone. This must be marketing.
Somehow the Duke still lives (of course)! Scott Miller posted at his Facebook site that the current state is more of a pause than the death of the Duke (who can never die as we all know ^^’). Also some new images emerged with the post. I think they are great and have to still believe that I will see the Duke again.
Now, some new footage popped up. Actually it is no new footage but the full segment not shown on the Jace Hall show, when he visited 3DRealms and had the chance to play it. I think it looks actually good and somehow finished. The idea with the controlling tentacles look good and the weapons are awesome as always. I really hope we will see this game in some time…
Duke Nukem Forever played by Jace Hall
After more and more news about how 3DRealms possibly refused 30 Millions and Take 2’s action of suing 3DRealms for 12 Millions and Source Code as well as Assets the first, more or less official statement has been made by the remaining executives at 3DRealms. It seems that 3DRealms still exists as a company but had to let go of all their developers in the beginning of May. Everything stated can be interpreted in many ways but I still have hope. It was also reported that Miller, Broussard and other Executives will give a full official statement some time later. So let’s hope everything gets at least clarified.
One of the 3DRealms Animators Bryan Brewer, who worked on Duke Nukem Forever, released a Reel of his work done for the game. If this is the real deal, and this is actual gameplay footage with some story hints and everything, this would have been exactly everything a Duke3D BNC-Net gamer could have wished for. I am sorry, but I need a moment…*cryingoutloud*
Tales of Monkey Island is available. Head over to Telltale Games and download the demo!
Tomorrow Telltale Games will release its interpretation of new Tales of Monkey Island. Based on its known Engine, with a new Storyline split into 5 episodes of enormous fun (at least I hope… and I am pretty sure about it). I will post more about it during the week as I pre-ordered it, of course. But for now, a small trailer…
I just stumbled upon a very good and fascinating adventure made with Macromedia Flash (I do not accept that Adobe bought it ^^’). It is called “Bow Street Runner” on the Channel4 site. It is a historical FMV adventure (so, please have a broadband connection for this) that tells a crime story in London in its 1750s and the Runners in Covent Garden.
Bow Street Runner – Crime Scene
The wonderful created game gives you the ability to search around, look at evidence, talk to people and try to chit-chat them into giving you clues. “Bow Street Runner” uses real actors playing their parts very well and are staged into the pre-rendered backgrounds you can traverse (basically like Myst, but with far more fluent and accurate controls).
In addition to simple pixel hunting there are extremely well designed action puzzles as you have to pick a lock with specific movements with your mouse or listen to a moving conversation with a jar.
While playing through the game you get the opportunity to try yourself on some mini games as well as you can achieve higher ranks with the Runners as you progress. These can be fasten up as there are special bonus achievements (e.g. save someones life).
As it is a Shockwave game you do not have the chance to save your progress but at the end of every episode you get a special progress code that gets saved onto your computer (probably through a cookie). Additionally you can send this code to your E-Mail address. And as the episodes have a moderate length it is no big negative point.
Bow Street Runner – Suicide?
I have to say the five episodes adventure impressed me. It is made in tradition to old games like Bad Mojo, Tex Murphy, Phantasmagoria, Gabriel Knight and others that were gaming hits in the mid 90s (I liked them!). But in contrary to some bad examples that just made you click yourself through pre-rendered or pre-filmed scenes this one motivates through its distinct art style, historical correctness and the interesting twist between detective work and action riddle solving.
I recommend you go over to the “Bow Street Runner” site and get a picture of what I presented you here about the game. This is a wonderful example of how it should be done to motivate the player and to make a very well furbished game. I hope there will be more games of such caliber as I think these are great games especially to speed up the online game distribution. “You don’t know Jack!” is another example of a wonderful idea predestined for Flash games.
PS:Here is an engine that could be used or extended for such projects ^^’ (No, I would never self-advertise)
Today Telltale finally revealed the new brand: StrongBad! For all those of you who do not not StrongBad go and visit Homestarrunner to get your E-Mails answered!
I am a very big fan of StrongBad and “LIMOZEEN”, watching it every week! Therefore I am pretty excited (as you can tell, otherwise I wouldn’t post it ^^’). I recommend you to watch this episode about StrongBad in an Anime-Style if you do not know StrongBad at all as it is one of my favorites.
Not much is known at the moment I am writing this but the title will be fabulous Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People (SBCG4AP) and it will be some kind of classic adventure, like the Sam and Max Seasons but evolving around StrongBadia and its habitants. So a 3D Point’n’Click Adventure as we like it. Matt and Mike Chapman (the geniuses) will be involved in the development.
There will be five episodes released monthly starting June, downloadable through the WiiWare system by an unknown price. The game will feature WiiConnect24 (in what way nobody knows… but jesus!).
I hope we will be able to play other characters as StrongMad or do Crank Calls and use the Teen Girl Squad ^^’.