FiringSquad: Will the game have any multiplayer elements?
Chris Sherland: Initially we'll be using a sever matching host and Warmonger will play like a standard multi-player shooter.
FiringSquad: Obviously the big feature of Warmonger are the destructible environments. How hard was it to design a game that had the kind of environmental damage that NetDevil wanted?
Chris Sherland: It's been very hard, harder than we thought it would be, and in different ways than we anticipated. Getting the tech to perform well has been a big challenge, but working closely with Ageia has brought huge benefits in that regard. Gameplay balance of destruction as a feature has been pretty interesting; there are a lot of elements to tweak that haven't been on the list before. One of the challenges is how to introduce destruction to the player so that they can use it consciously.
FiringSquad: Can you give us some examples of how destroying parts of the environment can influence the gameplay?
Chris Sherland: The thing we are striving for is to bring destruction into play as if it were a game character. There are some examples that just plop into your head, blowing the stairs behind you on the way to a good sniper spot, blowing a hole in a building to change flow, making sure you're hiding behind something that will allow you cover, etc…but as you think through them with destruction of the environment in mind it all starts to suggest emergent behavior. One thing that play testers are saying a lot is that Warmonger feels "unsafe" to play. Not that you're spine is going to fly out while you play, but that in-game your concepts of cover and concealment are all up for grabs and challenged.
FiringSquad: What other aspects of Warmonger do you think are important?
Chris Sherland: This title represents the first step in a vision we have here at NetDevil of how combat are going to evolve through the use of physics. Warmonger is on the tip of a much larger sword here, and we've got some great ideas riding on it.
FiringSquad: Why was the Unreal Engine 3 picked as the game's graphical basis and how hard was it to alter to make it work for your game?
Chris Sherland: We picked UE3 for a couple of reasons, one is that we wanted NetDevil to have some next gen experience for our upcoming designs, especially in regards to possible console titles. Also Epic and Ageia already had a working relationship, and we were looking for huge physics support for the title, it just made sense on enough levels that there really weren't a lot of other ways to go that made as much sense. We did a lot of work inside UE3 to support destruction features both in the engine and editor, and again along side Ageia engineers who have been neck deep in UE3 for a while now.
FiringSquad: How does the AGEIA PhysX processor help in making Warmonger the kind of game you designed it to be?
Chris Sherland: It's a critical element. Warmonger requires a PhysX card to run, we built the game to the card because it was the only way we could take destruction as far as we wanted to. Without the partnership we have with Ageia Warmonger would not be able to reach the goals we set for it.
FiringSquad: What is the current status of the game's progress and when will it be released?
Chris Sherland: Warmonger will be shown at GDC as both a single and multiplayer beta. A "gold" release will happen shortly after that.
FiringSquad: Finally is there anything else you wish to say about Warmonger?
Chris Sherland: Its hard to convey what Warmonger does to your play style without sounding like a fool, but its absolutely nerve wracking to play. We are pretty convinced that what Warmonger will deliver is going to change FPS play. Some of the base elements of shooter play are completely tossed out by Warmonger's destruction features; you're just going to have to play it to really get how different it is.
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!