Product Info | User Reviews | Article Images | Image Gallery | Comments | Forum Thread
Denver, LA, and more
Previously known as Worlds Apart, the Denver division was recently bought by Sony Online as a way to expand their business into new areas, specifically in the world of downloadable online trading card games. The company has been running two titles, Pirates Constructable Strategy Game Online (a game that takes hold on the recent pirate trends with both card and 3D battles) and Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga (described as a cross between space strategy games with poker). Just a couple of weeks ago, SOE-Denver launched Stargate Online Trading Card Game, based on the long running Stargate SG-1 TV series. In addition to online trading card battles the game also uses video footage from the TV show itself. During the press event we were told the game will have expansion that will include content from the spin-off series Stargate Atlantis along with the upcoming Stargate direct-to-DVD movies.
Another recent purchase by Sony Online, their Los Angeles studio previously had worked for Sony on games for mobile phones along with causal downloadble PC games. Now the development studio's new relationship with Sony Online will allow them to have better contact with game developers as opposed to just licensees. Perhaps the biggest new game coming from the studio is God of War: Betrayal, a 2D mobile phone title that is an all new game based on the hugely popular PS2 action-adventure series. SOE-LA worked closing with Sony Computer Entertainment's Santa Monica studio on the game which actually takes place in between God of War 1 and II (indeed God of War's scriptwriter also wrote the story for the mobile game). We got to see a quick demo of the game in action and it retains the bloody action of the PS2 games along with the button game design to create special action moves. God of War: Betrayal is scheduled to be available for mobile phone characters in June.
The company started up their first overseas internal studio in Taiwan recently to get Sony Online games ported over to the huge Asian market for online titles. One effort from the SOE-Taiwan team has already been released to North American audiences as the company's Asian themed designs for Everquest II was released in the US as an expansion for the game. In addition to bringing Sony Online's titles to the Asian market, the dev studio is also working on original titles and they announced their first project at the press event on Wednesday. It's an online action game based on the international hit Kung Fu Hustle, the humor filled martial arts game from director Stephen Chow. Chow is actually an avid gamer and will be involved in the development of the Kung Fu Hustle game. SOE-Taiwan decided to make the game a 3D side scrolling action title with a cartoony art style as player fight NPCs in story mode and up to eight players in the game's online mode. We got to see a brief gameplay movie from the title and it definately has an old-fashioned game design combined with fast paced combat and wild moves. The game will be free to play for a brief time period every day but additional time can be found via the purchase of virtual items (although the team is not saying much about how that will work at the moment). The game will launch in Asia later this year and the team hinted that the game will also be launched in the US sometime in the future.
SOE-Austin and SOE-Seattle
Unfortunately there was not any info about new projects coming from two of Sony Online's dev studios at the press event on Wednesday night. SOE-Austin is still the home of the long running Star Wars Galaxies MMO title and the game continues to expand in terms of free content. We were told that upcoming updates include Storyteller which will allow Star Wars Galaxies players to create their own in-game quests for the title, along with Beastmaster which will allow players to create their own beasts that they can buy, sell or trade with other players. SOE-Seattle is the home of The Matrix Online (they picked up the game after original developer Monolith departed as developer only a few months after its launch) and the company has expanded on the game since its original launch along with continuing the storyline in the movie based MMO.
Sony Online Entertainment is clearly expanding its base beyond Everquest and at the press event we were told that even more announcements are in the works. At their annual Everquest FanFaire that's scheduled for August, the company plans to make yet another new announcement and in April 08 the company should finally reveal more info on perhaps their most anticipated game since Everquest II; DC Universe Online, their super hero MMO based on the DC Comics characters and universe that will have art direction by legendary comic book artist Jim Lee. Stay tuned as we will be covering a number of Sony Online's upcoming games in more detail in the coming months.
Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Preview Elemental: Fallen Enchantress is a standalone expansion pack and follow-up to developer Stardock's previous game in the series, subtitled War of Magic. That 4X strategy game was highly-anticipated and slated to compete with games such as Sid Meier's Civilization V for your turn-based strategy play-time, but was released in an incredibly broken and unfinished state that it never fully recovered from. Lead designer Brad Wardell apologized profusely to fans and set out with his team to go back to the drawing board and try again.
Almost two years later, the result of that proverbial mulligan is currently undergoing closed beta testing. In today's article, Will reports his thoughts on how Fallen Enchantress is shaping up, and will tell you whether or not you should be keeping an eye on it as it nears release later this year.
The Elder Scrolls Online Details Leak - Should Fans Be Excited? The Elder Scrolls Online, long rumored to be in development, was officially announced yesterday. Still in development at Zenimax Online Studios, this MMO aims to combine traditional genre mechanics with the spirit and sensibilities, not to mention setting and lore, of the immensely popular series of single-player RPGs. Though the game is set for a full unveiling in the next issue of Game Informer magazine, what appears to be the entire cover story article has been leaked to the interwebs already. In today's article, you'll find summary and analysis of all the alleged details, as well as feast your eyes on the very first screenshots and concept art from the game. Of course, the burning question now is, should you be excited?
ANNO 2070 Review
The year is 2070. The majority of life on Earth was devastated when global sea levels surged after the melting of the polar ice caps. Swaths of previously habitable land are now deep underwater, and sovereign nations are a relic of the past. But there is still hope...
This city-building RTS/simulation game from Ubisoft tasks you with re-colonizing what little land areas are left on the planet following a global warming apocalypse. Does it have what it takes to be worthy of your time and money, or should it be cast out to sea with the rest of civilization? Find out in today's review!
Mass Effect 3 PC Review
This latest release from EA/BioWare is the final entry in their trilogy of sci-fi action RPGs, putting you in a dire situation: rally the troops to save Earth at all costs. There was a lot of hype surrounding the final act of what has been a vast and highly-customizable story-telling experience, and the reception among many hardcore fans has been less than stellar. Even people that haven't played the game have probably heard about all the nerd rage going on over Mass Effect 3's ending...
If you want to cut through all the crap and find out whether or not the rest of ME3 is worth playing, come check out Will's spoiler-free take on the first blockbuster game release of 2012.
Batman: Arkham City PC Review Batman: Arkham City is the sequel to 2009’s smash-hit action game Batman: Arkham Asylum. As the name suggests, you will be reprising your role as the Caped Crusader and going against an even larger 'prison' filled with Gotham's criminals and villains. A textbook example on how to do a proper sequel, Arkham City takes what worked in the original, excised or improved upon what didn’t, and elevated everything to an even greater scope. The PC version suffered from a few months of delay, but in that time, Rocksteady worked closely to NVIDIA to implement some familiar technologies from the last game, such as PhysX and 3D Vision, along with new DirectX 11 optimizations. But how well was the whole package executed? Read on to find out!
Saints Row: The Third PC Review Saints Row is one of most unique series of games to build upon the open-world action template forged by Grand Theft Auto, and has met with plenty of critical and commercial success since it began on consoles back in 2006. This latest iteration, titled Saints Row: The Third promises the most outlandish fun and freedom of customization of them all, and in a much more PC-friendly package than its predecessor. Does it live up to those expectations and, more importantly, is it worth the price of admission? Find out in Will's latest review!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim PC Review The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is Bethesda Softworks’ latest offering in their series of epic fantasy RPGs, as well as one of the most highly-anticipated PC titles of 2011. As the Dovahkiin, or Dragonborn, prepare to take the fight to the mythical beasts that have returned to the realm after centuries of slumber, all the while exploring a huge and highly-detailed open world.
The PC version of the game promises enhanced graphical fidelity, standard RPG trimmings such as hotkeys and quick-save, as well as unbridled mod support, something we’ll all be thankful for once they release that SDK. Skyrim has already sold millions of copies and set records for play-time on Steam... Find out why in today's review, which happens to be one of the biggest and most in-depth articles on the subject out there!
L.A. Noire Complete Edition PC Review L.A. Noire, as the name clearly states, is a video game built on the tropes of one of the greatest periods of American cinema: film noir. Developed by the now defunct Australian developer Team Bondi and published by Rockstar Games, this title has been out on consoles for a full six months before finally making its way to the PC. This “Complete Edition” of the game features improved graphics, keyboard/mouse controls, and every bit of previously-released DLC for free. But was it truly worth the wait? Read on and find out!
Mass Effect 3 PC Demo Impressions Mass Effect 3, EA/BioWare's third iteration in their series of sci-fi action RPGs and one of the most anticipated titles of the year, is fast approaching its March 6th release. This week, though, they released a playable demo on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 that offers a glimpse into both the single-player and multi-player portions of the full game.
Whether you're waiting impatiently for your download to finish or don't have the time to check it out yourself, go ahead and read some impressions of the demo from resident FSers Synch and Vandy in today's article!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 Review
The self-appointed "most anticipated game in history" launched worldwide this past Tuesday. Why, it's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, of course (of course), what else? Unsurprisingly, the military FPS debate between this and Battlefield 3 rages on, but now that both have been released, surely we can take a look and objectively evaluate them both? Luke's taken the Xbox version of MW3 for a spin this week, so to find out what he thinks of it in today's review!