Monday, June 29, 2009

Starcraft 2 Multiplayer Beta Preview

Starcraft 2 Multiplayer Beta
On an elementary level, Starcraft II is simply the original StarCraft remade with 3D graphics and new audio. After all, a game with such a dedicated player base and competitive following shouldn't take any risks in alienating its fans through a complete reinvention of the game. Starcraft is currently one of the most competitive e-sports games in the world and has even been called the unofficial national sport of South Korea. What makes Starcraft 2 so appealing to old school players is that the game has retained many of its basic principles, while the changes that were made are enough to make a StarCraft veteran pause and think about everything that can be done differently.

As of now the StarCraft II multiplayer beta is currently underway with signups available on Like the original, StarCraft 2 will feature three playable races, the Terran, Protoss, and Zerg, all of which who have received new units and technologies. In addition to new units and abilities there are also some glaring gameplay changes from the first. One of the most controversial gameplay changes made in StarCraft 2 is the removal of the old 12 unit selection system in favor of an unlimited number of units. This means that you can now control your entire army at once instead of individually hotkeying groups and controlling multiple groups at once.

In addition higher ground is now of the utmost importance. Units will have an advantage when firing down at enemies below which could make elevation one of the cornerstones of playing StarCraft II successfully. There are also new Xel'naga watchtowers which are exceptional when scouting. These towers are activated when a ground unit is moved close to the building and provides a large line of sight. There are also destructible barriers placed at various locations on the map which can be used to create an alternate route or shortcut, but beware, any player can make use of a destroyed barrier. There are also high-risk, high-yield golden minerals placed at strategic locations on the map and are also ideal expansion locations.

Also on the list of new improvements added to SC2 is a wide array of replay options and statistics to show you exactly what happened in your previous game. Replays can now be fast forwarded and rewound which will let you re-watch game changing battles and see exactly what course of action your opponent took. There are also a number of useful statistics tracked during a match such as Actions Per Minute(APM), resources gathered, units in play, and so on. After any given match, you can even see a players specific build order, letting you see the exact second a building or unit was completed.

Some critics are currently concerened about StarCraft II shying away from its roots and becoming more noob-friendly due to new selection methods and units. However they will quickly learn that StarCraft 2 is just as fast-paced and difficult as ever.

Source: Gamespy

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gears of War 2 Title Update 4

Gears of War 2Gears of War 2 was one of the hottest selling games in the world when it released on November 7, 2008. While the game itself gained high praise from the industry and gamers, many people were disappointed with how the Xbox LIVE multiplayer mode worked. Well Epic games and creator Cliff Bleszinski have heard the call of the gamers have just unveiled details for the games fourth title update for Gears of War 2.

Gears of War 2 is currently sitting in the fourth spot on the list of top played Xbox LIVE games, but the developers are hoping to put some more players online pretty soon with their new update. The fourth update for the game adds some needed gameplay elements as well as some exploit fixes so cheap gamers won't glitch there way around the game making it no fun for anybody.

The improvements for the game adds many improvements to the Horde mode. With this new update players will be able to collect multiplayer experience while playing Horde. The new ranking system added a great new way to show how good you were but was restricted to only gaining rank inhuman v.s. human games. With the update you will receive points for every wave completed on Horde gaining 50 points for every completed casual wave, 75 points for normal, 100 points for hardcore, and 125 points for insane. The update also allows you to restart from your current wave in Public Horde if your team dies. Previously in public horde, if everybody on your team died, you would have to restart from the first wave. Host players will also be able to boot players from the Horde match as well. One previous "cheat", if you can call it that, in Horde mode was the ability to gain 50 points towards your teams score by reviving a downed teammate. Players would allow their teammates to get down multiple times and revive them to artificially boost their score. Now in Horde, your team loses 50 points whenever a squad mate gets downed, canceling out that point bonus.

Other non-Horde improvements include support for the new campaign chapter "Road to Ruin" and also adds 13 new achievements worth a total of 325 gamer points for the new "Dark Corners" map pack. Among the improvements are some exploit fixes like firing the flame thrower while evading or mounting an object and general fixes like down but not out players to not appear as down to their teammates as well as some added features to how smoke grenades affect you. developers also added some balancing to the multiplayer. Now there will be a 30-second delay in map-based spawning for weapons and ammo at the beginning of a wingman match and there will be more future server-side balancing options.

Update 4 has not passed certification yet so there is no confirmed release date but considering the "Dark Corners" map pack comes out July 28th, we can probably expect to see update 4 pretty soon. For a full list of all the improvements and fixes check out the Gears of War 2 Update 4 homepage.

Source: Gears of