Doop de doo, good morning, computer. Starting you up, dum de dum*. I’m going to go get some coffee while you do that.
Ah, that’s better. Hello, work chat client. Hello, personal chat client. Hello, Outlook; go away now. Hello, web browser. Hi there Google Reader.
Oh, Google Reader. Look at you. You look so healthy right now. Nobody would ever know.
Sonic Rob pours out some coffee for his RSS aggregator.
Penny Arcade, that’s nice. Questionable Content, you’re really more of a routine than something I “enjoy”. Oh Rude Pundit, you so rude. Rock, Paper, Shotgun, argh, I’m incredibly backed up with you. Let’s clear out some articles that I’m not going to get to.
Thing about Settlers: don’t need to read. Thing about graphics cards: don’t need to read. Thing about Battlefield 3 mods: don’t need to read. Thing about PC monitor tech plateauing: open in new tab. Indie game, AAA game, MMO Beta: mlehmpgh. Dead Island 2 review: hm. News that there may be news about another XCOM game: huzzah.
“Relic Foresees ‘Strong Possibility’ Of More Dawn Of War”
$10 once again gets you three new maps (for a total of 11 if you bought the previous DLC) and a new play mode, Dreadnought Assault. In this mode two teams compete to capture a point in the middle of the map, presumably much like in Seize Ground. The team that succeeds spawns a player-controlled Dreadnought armed with an Assault Cannon, Meltagun, and giant crushy killy fist thing. It’s the closest the game has yet come to just giving players a tank. Once the dreadnought is destroyed the process begins again. It’s not clear from the press release how you go about winning this mode, although at a guess I’d reckon either kills or by summoning the Dread a certain number of times.
There’s also yet another set of skins for the outrageous price of $3 each. This time it’s Death Guard and Iron Hands, which at least should give the game artists a chance to have some fun with bionic legs, distended bellies, and so forth.
I’m sort of intrigued by all of this but I’m wondering about how the Dreadnought gets around the map. Can he smash through walls? Does he have to duck to get through doorways?
What do you think? Is anyone still playing Space Marine?
Relic has announced a new DLC pack just days after we XBox-owning peons were finally allowed to download and then ignore the Exterminatus co-operative DLC.
Long story short, in December sometime all players get access to a new Capture the Flag gametype. Those who pay $10 for the DLC pack get a Chaos version of the Exterminatus horde-mode game, as well as 3 new maps that work for all gametypes. Also, four new multiplayer skins will be available for $3 each. Finally, 10 new achievements will be added, almost certainly all tied into the new game modes.
Capture the Flag sounds like crazy fun, since Space Marine moves so fast and the maps tend to be on the small side IMO. I haven’t played Exterminatus, so I don’t really know what to think of a Chaos version coming out. I’ve played a ton of multiplayer, though, and having the map count go up from five to eight is… well, almost worth $10 to me. I won’t be buying the skins, awesome as the Legion of the Damned one looks, as the game moves too fast for anyone to notice much about what you look like. Besides, I wear camouflage.
Last time I held forth with no real qualifications or justification on how to fight as a jump marine in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Carrying on with the second of three posts on the topic, I’d like to discuss particular maps in the game and how to best use the jump marine’s particular traits in each of them.
I’ve been enjoying the hell out of Space Marine’s multiplayer mode, probably more than I’ve enjoyed an online game in some time. It’s pretty thin on maps and classes, but in a way that allows for some very fine tuning. It’s like a really well-cooked steak with nothing on it and no side dishes.
I’ve been looking online for some guides to playing the game, but it’s starting to look like the multiplayer community may be deserted in favor of the big games coming out in the next few weeks. Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are both waiting in the wings to snap up fans of high-caliber online violence, and Batman: Arkham City just ate all of the nerd gamers. Still, they say that if you can’t find what you need, build it, so here are some thought on playing the easiest class in the game and thus the one I feel most confident in holding forth regarding: the Assault Marine/Chaos Raptor (ASM).
Dan Abnett is arguably the best author working in the Black Library’s Warhammer 40,000 setting. He has a wonderful ear for dialogue and his characters tend to be well-drawn and to have understandable motivations, even if he introduces them only to kill them off a few sentences later. This is actually one of his favorite tricks, and it means that his novels, set in the splinter of the 40K setting known as the “Daniverse” are among the more colorful and well-populated.
Abnett also understands a key problem with 40K, which is that it’s actually sort of a shitty setting. Space Marines are dull, Imperial Guardsmen are idiots, and even Orks can get monotonous after a while. Sure, in the grim darkness of the far future there is only war, but you have to write about more than war or risk your novel turning into a Risk War Diary. Abnett’s solutions, at least in the novels I’ve read, are to avoid writing about Marines whenever possible, and to populate his stories with more-or-less normal humans who exist in cultures distinct from the usual kinda-like-Nazis-kinda-like-Victorians Imperium of Man. Legion, the 7th novel in the very long-running Horus Heresy series, set in the 30th Millennium, long before the “present” of the 40K universe. The novel purports to tell the tale of the Alpha Legion, youngest of the Space Marine Legions and one that we know in 40K as a dreaded Traitor Legion. In fact, like a lot of the Heresy novels Legion takes place mostly from the perspective of a series of bystanders, normal humans serving alongside the Alpha Legion in the vast non-Marine human armies.
John Grammaticus, an immortal psychic, works for a Cabal of aliens who have seen the future. They would like to meet Alpharius, leader and genetic template for the Alpha Legion, so they can warn him about a coming danger to the galaxy that the Legion might be able to help avert. The aliens don’t trust the humans, who are a young and violent species, and the humans don’t trust the aliens because various aliens have perpetrated mass slaughter against humans at times when the Imperium was weak. Wacky misunderstandings and hijinks ensue.
There was a tide of new Warhammer 40k video game publicity earlier this week for some reason, and I’d like to address it really quickly since we’re fans of the franchise generally. First off, I’m not that likely to get into it anyway but the teaser video for the new 40k MMO didn’t excite me much.
Yeah, that one.
I’m willing to reserve judgement until more is known – like, anything at all – but aside from the scenes with Titans the whole thing looks like a WoWalike, right down to the button bar at the bottom and the portrait/resources panel at the top left. I’ve said it before: WoW does what it does very well, and you’re more likely to beat Blizzard with something truly different than by beating them at their own game. WoW with bolters doesn’t count as “truly different”, especially when your art style looks more like WoW than it does the rest of 40k.
There’s still plenty we don’t know about this game either, but the in-engine footage of combat looks interesting. The shooting looks really reminiscent of Resident Evil 4/Gears of War over-the-shoulder style action games, which I quite enjoy. The melee seems nice and fast, with the marines jumping and lunging into their attacks rather than plodding about; I quite liked the bit early on where a marine charges through the sort of chest-high concrete wall that usually winds up inviolate in shooter games. I didn’t see a wide variety of attacks, though which suggests the possible danger that things could get into throbbing red Dynasty Thumbs territory rather than tasty and caramel-flavored God of War-ville.
I’ve got questions, of course, but I’ll try to avoid the ones that are just thinly-veiled speculation. Who’s the unhelmed marine we see in some of the shooting segments? Do we still get to use any weapons aside from the bolter and chainsword? Are there enemies aside from the orks? Multi?
There’s still plenty of time for them to screw this up, but it would be possible for the stuff shown in that trailer to be parts of a game I would enjoy. Beyond that I allow for nothing!