Tag Archives: Warhammer 40K

A week of Games.

It’s been a funny old week for gamers.

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We’ve lost and regained the loved/hated high street retailer Game in blink of an eye, with its future still uncertain.  Half the branches have been shuttered and the remaining portfolio is been split between the best performing locations of Gamestation and Game, with the business apparently being readied for a subsequent sale – prompting the return of GameStop to these shores?

In Sheffield, for example, we’ve gone from six stores to two – a branch of Game in the Crystal Peaks shopping centre and a Gamestation in the larger, presumably more expensive Meadowhall shopping mall.  What this means for me is that neither are now particularly near me and I’d have to make a special trip to two not-especially-pleasant shopping venues.  I see online and a couple of independent retailers in my future.  The Guardian‘s Keza McDonald has a great piece on Game, the market space now open for indy retailers and what it all means over at their Games blog.

The vultures, of course, have begun to circle…

On another note, embattled publisher THQ announced that they’ll be giving me what I wanted but in a totally roundabout way.  By all accounts, we will see another single-player action game in the “Warhammer 40K” universe but at the cost of their expensive and apparently too unwieldy 40K MMO, which has been shuttered. Developers Relic and Vigil are accordingly reducing headcount by over 100 staff – who would work in an industry that precarious?

Sony’s new console, meanwhile, may be called Orbis rather than PS4, will eschew any attempt to be backwards compatible and will eat any pre-owned disc that you attempt to put inside it’s ravenous, bio-mechanical, terrifying cyber-maw.

Or, if you want to be boring, the new console will lock games to PSN accounts, preventing trade-in and the second-user market which is even now destroying the video game business from within.  But I prefer my version.  It’s more Cyber.

Finally, in news which isn’t actually news to anybody who’s picked up a controller or installed a game to their hard drive in the last decade, EA are in the running for the coveted title of Worst Company In America…

Whatever you’re playing this weekend, you probably want to make sure it isn’t “Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City”…

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2011 – a completionist’s tale

Yep, that's me that they're shooting. Fun times...

“Gears of War 3”, “Uncharted 3”, “Warhammer 40K: Space Marine”, “Singularity”, “Bulletstorm” – campaigns done and dusted, multiplayer mostly left untouched (still making progress through “Uncharted 3”, really should try out some more “Space Marine”).

What have you finished this year – and is finishing games important to you?  If you’re not enjoying something, do you just put it down or persist with it in the hope that it gets better?

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Hmmm…

Warhammer 40K author Aaron Dembski-Bowden nicely sums up what’s happening on my PSN/Xbox friends list at the moment.

Although people who check out my PSN ID will notice that I’m always playing Free-For-All mode in “Uncharted 3” multi-player, which I’m sure is every bit as annoying for them.

It’s an online multiplayer mode that I stand a chance in – even with the slightly iffy gunplay in “UC3”

Aaron Dembski-Bowden

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Charlie Brooker 4, Modern Warfare 3

Fun fact. Charlie Brooker actually looks like this in real life...

Erstwhile screenwriter, telly face and gaming curmudgeon Charlie Brooker is at it again. And as usual, he’s got a ruddy good point.

You might remember him from his various BBC series – “How TV Ruined Your Life”, “Newswipe” and his one-off special, “Gameswipe”, or in his capacity as the creator of Channel Four’s ace reality telly/zombie mash-up, “Dead Set”. He’s also one of the few Guardian columnists whose byline I actively seek in the paper, chiefly as he never loses a chance to integrate games and gaming into the papers’ general arts conversation.

His latest column tackles “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” intelligently and asks a simple question that has probably occurred to most games players at one time or another:

Why am I playing this game, when the protagonist is such a weapons-grade tool?“.

Yes, he's got a mohican haircut. In the Military FPS genre, this passes for characterisation...

So often in games, movies and novels set in this genre, we’re asked to accept at face value that we should identify with characters whose sole notable feature is an ability to field-strip an assault rifle blindfolded and to p spout inane, frat-boy one-liners largely inspired by the killing of enemy combatants, the inevitable, imminent slaughter of said enemy combatants or the destructive force of the military hardware which will be used to wipe enemy combatants from the very face of the planet.

It’s all a bit dull, really – and it’s where I can’t get excited by the “Battlefield” and “Call of Duty” games. I don’t want to be these guys, so the idea of slogging through a five-to-six hour campaign in the company of people who’ve read too many Jack Ryan novels and taken them far too seriously isn’t exactly my mug of Senseo.

I’m not saying that all game protagonists must henceforth be replaced by variations on this guy:

The bard of self-deprecating urbane whimsy

But wouldn’t it be more interesting to play one of these games with a protagonist who isn’t built like a brick outbuilding and whose sole interaction with the world is to pepper it with bullets, knife slashes and tactical nukes?

I realise the irony of saying this given my preference for the bald-headed, space marine genre of third-person action games but there again, I don’t want to be those characters, either.

If games are supposed to be offering me wish-fulfilment and an escape from the pressures of the real world, they’re doing a bang-up job on the second point and a piss-poor job on the first part.

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An Ultramarine on your desk

Via a post at the always excellent Super Punch – there’s an array of fascinatingly diverse ephemera posted each time that I visit – comes the only sensible accessory for any desk-bound “Warhammer 40K” fan:

Would the Emperor be really ticked off if I didn't make this? Oh, yeah, right...

It’s only a chuffing paper craft Blood Angel!   The work of genius above is by Jim Bowen and his craft blog is here.

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More “Warhammer 40K: Space Marine” DLC incoming

Those lovely chaps at Eurogamer have excellent news – the DLC pipeline for their sadly-underrated “Warhammer 40K: Space Marine” game continues to gush forth exciting new content.

This is Captain Titus' happy face. Would you like to see him when he's ticked off?

Following the recent, free downloadable ‘Exterminatus’ co-op mode which recently showed up in-game once you updated the game comes a new ‘Chaos Unleashed‘ mode, a new enemy class and some new multi-player maps – for 800 Microsoft Space Bucks or the equivalent on your platform.

You can expect to see that in December – there’s also a new collection of bunch of Legion skins due at the same time for 240 MSP.

Any new add-on for this game sounds great to me and I’m kind of apt to support it as I really would like to see a sequel to this title – THQ’s recent words on the subject don’t inspire hope, but as my dear mum (never ever) says – ‘it’s not over until the belligerent inquisitor sings‘.

In which negotiation fails and radical alternatives to debate are called for...(via Game Craic)

 

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THQ’s Danny Bilson wants me to cry more.

Pictured yesterday, "Warhammer 40K" fans storm THQ HQ

Eurogamer today has a post with the news that I’ve dreaded since the release of “Space Marine” – the signs don’t point towards a “Space Marine 2” any time soon.

THQ boss Danny Bilson isn’t ruling it out entirely, but the sales don’t quite justify a sequel in the expansive territory of the “40K” universe – especially when the previously mentioned “WH40K” MMO may apparently share game play elements which overlap with the single-player game.

An MMO which is pick-up-and-play enough to appeal to the single-player fans of “Space Marine”? I can’t help but be intrigued by that as instance-based, always-on MMO traditions really don’t hold any interest for me.

I’ll just have to wait until 2013 to see if this bears fruition or is just so much PR fluff.

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