Friday, March 14, 2008

The pull of the ring is strong...

Play reports:

Speaking at the Codemaster Connect 08 event in Birmingham today, Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online producer was on-hand to officially announce a new expansion pack for the popular MMO title.

Called "The Mines of Moria", the first official LoTR expansion will be released later this year, and promises wholesale improvement and expansion of the persistent world title.

The new add-on will see us entering new areas of Middle-Earth, specifically Moria and beyond this, Lorien. A third region was mooted but goes unnamed at present. 10 new levels will see the game's cap boosted to 60, with two new classes being offered: the Warden and the Runekeeper.

In the mine's we're promised epic environments and vast halls, with top-notch loot on offer. Balrog and the Watcher will count among the new bosses to counter, with world altering instances and stunningly rich dwarve cities offered by the producer.

Entering Lorien players will receive gifts from Galadriel, the pack also introducing Legendary Items (objects that will evolve as the player progresses), et al. Big raids were also mentioned.

Turbine also confirmed that they are planning annual expansions to the Lord of the Rings Online, another offering hinted for 2009.

In the short-term, MMO players will also be getting Book 13, 'Doom of the Last King', which will offer a new icy coastal region to explore, weather which impacts your character and the related gameplay... as well as, well, fishing.

War Mammoths and a new race, The Lossoth, will also be added, alongside new monsters, fellowship enhancements and more.The developers even confirmed that Book 14 will arrive later in the summer, which will carry players through to the expansion pack, and allow them to visit the Ring Forge in the process.

With Age of Conan coming out soon and now this, the temptation is growing deep inside the pit of my blackened gamer soul. Can I resist? Will I resist? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Interplay is reborn!

Interplay is back! With the news of soul sucking behemoths like EA buying up everything in sight and ruining the sports game industry, little gems like this make me all giddy inside. All I have to say to Interplay is, "Baldur's Gate 3 please!"

Click here for there new website.

Where are the Western FPS games?

With the exception of Call of Juarez, the Western FPS sub genre has gone largely neglected. I think the subject matter is rife with possibilities. As my friends know, I am not that good at multi player FPS games. Part of the reason is that I am just not that into them. I don't enjoy getting sniped from 200 yards away or getting chewed up by modern firepower at close range. I was very excited about Call of Juarez when I first heard it was being produced. That excitement ended about a half hour into the game. I had expected something akin to the classic western FPS called Outlaws from Lucasarts. What I got was a poorly designed, uninspired crap fest.

It has been over ten years since Outlaws was released and there hasn't been one good western themed FPS (or other genre) game in that time. There have been a plethora of World War II games in that time. I'd like to see a AAA publisher use something like the Unreal 3 engine and give the western theme another go. I am skeptical that this will happen since you won't have huge explosions and guns that can shoot through schools, but I can dream. Hell, I'd even like to see a computer adaption of Kenzerco's Aces and Eights table top western rpg. Imagine, no flak jackets, scopes that let you shoot someone from half a mile away, frag grenades, or air strikes. It would be mano a mano with six shooters, rifles and bows.

Are there any settings that you think are being neglected?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Age of Conan Preview

PC Gamer has their preview of Age of Conan up. The only thing that I am mildly interested in is the idea of a new combat system. I have done the old standard MMO combat system to death. Funcom needs to make sure that isn't the only attraction to their game or it will go the way of recent titles like Tabula Rasa. Age of Conan is supposed to be coming out for the Xbox 360, but I have heard little about the console version. Does anyone know if it is going to be a simultaneous release or if it will come out some time later?