"QUANTUM SHOT" #217
Article by guest blogger Joshua S. Hill
The New Era of Computer Gaming Arrives
Welcome our guest blogger Joshua S. Hill, from My Writing Voice site. And blast off to the wondrous world of the latest computer games and CG concept art!
TOP FIVE MOST EAGERLY AWATED GAMES: 2007 EDITION:
I’ve been playing computer games for a long time now. I am actually quite surprised to find that I once played games like Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem as a young teenager. These are games most widely known as the origins of shoot-em-ups, and I was around to play them. It’s a gratifying feeling for someone who hasn’t been on the good side of the money-fairy.
(Artwork by: Kenneth A. Huff)
So it comes as a great joy to see the steps that game-developers are making, and the results that we are beginning to see this year. In fact, September of 2007 promises to be a very big month, with two big-name releases for fans of either the PC or the console. Not to mention the tantalizing unknown of Starcraft 2 and Spore ever on our horizons. So come with me, as we take a stroll through the games that are going to make our hearts stop and our pulses race (yes, you heard me right…).
Crysis, by Electronic Arts
You’ve just missed seeing someone run past you in the thick underbrush of the forest, but you wouldn’t know would you; there is no sign of their passing, games aren’t that advanced yet.
Au contraire my friend, the time has arrived, and a new revolution will begin, upon the arrival of Crysis, a new PC game coming from the makers of Far Cry, Crytek. Already pioneers of gaming advances with their famed CryENGINE which housed their insanely popular Far Cry (Far Cry sold 730,000 units within four months of release) Crytek have taken the next step in gaming development.
The year is 2019, and in a game that has Sci-Fi written all over it, you take the role of a US Commando, battling the invading "hunters", who made their arrival on an asteroid. With CryENGINE 2 behind Crysis, you’ll be able to see the battered blades of grass, or the footprint in the mud, or the softly swaying branch that all signify your enemy has just moved through.
Set for release on September 11 of this year, Crysis will sport some fantastic plot developments and "modes" for your character to enter in to. Strength mode will allow you to crash smash and bash your way through mostly anything, while Speed mode will allow you to be a blur in your enemy’s eyes. Each mode comes with a trade-off, so it will be interesting to see what people’s favorites are.
And if you’re still craving that online experience, combined with the inane desire to destroy both friends and enemies alike, Crysis has you covered there too. With Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag modes and a capacity of 32 players Crysis could have let it be, but they took one more step. “Entitled Power Struggle” mode will pit two teams against each other, in a desperate race to commandeer factories and manufacturer special weapons to destroy the opposing base.
All in all, Crysis is promising to be one of the best first-person-shooter games on release ever. With graphics to blow the mind and gameplay that matches the work that has gone in to said graphics, this game is going to be well worth your time.
But what if you’re a console fan… well don’t worry, you’re covered!
(Concept art by: Raphael Lacoste)
Possibly the most anticipated game of the last several years, Halo 3 will be making its way to shelves on the 25th of September of this year. Under development by Bungie Studios, and set for release on the Xbox 360, the Halo franchise has been one of Microsoft’s boons. (see official site here)
Now I’ll admit, I’ve never played any of the Halo games, with my attention within Halo’s lifespan being dedicated to the RTS and RP games, however I would have had to have been living underneath a rock not to hear of its popularity. Almost every gamer of any caliber knows of the game and, in reality, most have played it.
While Halo 3 is not lining up to compete with games such as Crysis in the graphics department, the continual development of the Halo engines and now the development for the Xbox 360 promises a fantastic gaming experience. Labeled as using technologies such as High Dynamic Range, global lighting, real-time reflections and real-time depth of field effect, Halo 3 is no pretender. The "Master Chief’s" visor and the Ghost’s armor will all contain real-time reflections, and the "draw distance" will expand out to 10 miles, allowing for multiple layers of cloud cover and even a pseudo space beyond that.
The plot will take of where Halo 2 left off (wherever that is…), apparently leaving Master Chief on a Covenant –controlled Earth, and Cortana (?) held captive of Gravemind. This sounds all very interesting though, and it is the amount of effort put in to storylines that are beginning to become the center point for all games.
I’m not going to pretend I know much about Halo and give you a run down on the gameplay, for it seems that it will be very similar to that of previous versions. But without a doubt, Halo 3 is creating more havoc around the internet with viral marketing campaigns, fake viral marketing campaigns, and simple blogger hyperactivity all creating a mass of interest, both in and outside the gaming community.
(Screenshot from: "Gears of War" game, developed by Epic)
Another spectacular game to come out in 2007 is Necrovision. Reviewers describe it as "combining the realism of early 20th century with a fantasy underworld.". It's a first person shooter with elements of quest and classic horror action. It has some spectacular steampunk backdrops and surreal landscapes. Check out this concept art:
(images courtesy GGMania)
and a screenshot:
Read more about this game here
While Halo 3 will go down as one of the games most recently anticipated, Spore will no doubt go down as the most anticipated game ever. Designed by Will Wright, famous for The Sims and SimCity, Spore represents the pinnacle in strategy games, where you create the future for your characters. Of the game, Wright said "I didn't want to make players feel like Luke Skywalker or Frodo Baggins. I wanted them to be like George Lucas or J.R.R. Tolkien."
Promised to provide an open-ended, on the fly developmental evolution, Spore allows the user to guide a single celled organism through the multiple stages of life, all the way on up to a more complex animal, then a sapient animal – one with the ability to judge its actions – and then the user will be granted the control over the society in which his fully fledged sapient lives. The phases known at the moment are; Molecular, Cellular, Creature, Tribal, City, Civilization and then Space.
Not being an online multi-player game (such as World of Warcraft), Spore is labeled by its creator a "massively single-player online game", where the user’s creations are ranked against other users, rather than the creations playing against other users. One aspect however will be the ability to see how your creations are doing in other universes, without your interaction, thus described as the alternate reality of the Spore metaverse.
Will_Wright has yet to go wrong with his gaming creations, and the amount of attention Spore is receiving from would-be fans of the game is proof that he’s likely on to another winner.
But now we step in to my world, and a game that I have been waiting for the past 8 years.
(Artwork by: Kenneth A. Huff)
Announced at a massive gaming conference in South Korea earlier this month, Starcraft 2 is, once again, one of the most anticipated games ever. In fact, if we were to step within the borders of South Korea, I would imagine they haven’t even heard of Halo 3 or Spore given the amount of excitement that the announcement of a sequel to their national game has created. Reports from tourists and techies living in the country continually reaffirm the fact that South Korea is literally talking about this game everywhere.
A release date is not known yet, but with Blizzard behind the helm, that doesn’t bother anyone. Blizzard has a reputation for never caring about a release date, just as long as they release the perfect final product. Unlike Microsoft who will release something only half done, Blizzard will calmly notify their fans of the delay, and the fans will calmly accept it, safe in the knowledge that Blizzard make some of the finest games ever to hit the shelves.
The makers behind the insanely popular World of Warcraft, Blizzard have let slip some details though that is making the wait both easier, and harder. In the latest edition of the gaming magazine PC Gamer, a feature highlights the continuing development of Starcraft II, and what we might expect from it.
- Hero units will no longer be as important, nor require as much hands on management, as in Warcraft III. This means a lot to players of the game, who will no longer need to split their attention so fully between their standard units and their hero unit.
- As of the writing of the article, a unit cap will limit the sides to a maximum of 200 units each. However users will be able to highlight as many as available, without group restrictions.
- Blizzard consulted with top competitive SC and WCIII players from Korea in the making of Starcraft II.
- No decisions have been made as to minimum system requirements, but Blizzard has always made videogames that suit computers from the lower end, all the way to the gaming high end.
The question remains, will South Korea give up their national game for its baby brother? I don’t care honestly. With a game that won’t require me to make a monthly deposit, I’ll be happy to get in on the action!
The Wrap Up
That’s the five biggest games currently in development for you. Each has taken steps – both great and small – in graphical interfaces and technological development, and each and every one of them is going to make you cry once you see it for the first time. Fans of Halo and Starcraft will be lining up on the streets from… well they’re probably already there. And game fans will be crying tears of joy once they see that branch move after the passing of their enemy in Crysis.
You better believe that gaming is getting better and better; this is just proof of the pudding.
(art by: Stephan Martiniere)
Article by Joshua S. Hill, My Writing Voice for Dark Roasted Blend.
(want to become our co-blogger? write to us, see guidelines here)
Category: Computers, Internet
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