Team Fortress 2 Pyro Update

To go along with the Medic update released a while back, Valve are now releasing the Pyro version. Not only is the release time shockingly soon after the medic update, they seem to have learned from that, and changed a few things.

Firstly though, the other stuff. This update also includes 2 new maps, cp_fastlane and ctf_turbine. I haven’t played fastlane but have played turbine – it is a good compact map which should provide quite a competitive experience. Although you could play both these maps previously, now they are officially released, now you will at least be able to find servers running them!

Also, the pyro is getting a treat to the vanilla flamethrower. The alt-fire will now “blow back” shit. People and projectiles namely. This could prove really interesting and I can’t wait to see how it will work. Blowing people off ledges, blowing crazy melee pyros away or a soldier while you make your escape, it should improve the survivability of the pyro greesatly.

The unlocks – first there is the flare gun to replace the shotgun, which basically launches a ball of fire to set stuff alight. Looks quite cool, and a nice contrast to the high damage close range shotgun, some long range, relatively low damage fire. Next there is the backburner, which is basically like a normal flamethrower, but with 100% crit chance on the back of enemies, and 50+ health. I am assuming the “blow back” stuff is going to be really awesome…otherwise there is a no brainer between this and the regular flamethrower. Lastly is the axetinguisher, a lovely axe that provides 100% crits on burning enemies, but is weaker against none on-fire enemies. These look like some nice unlocks that shouldn’t skew the balance too much…

Achievements – not going to list them, jsut comment. To me they look, in general, easier to get than the medic ones, as well as not being so ridiculous (3 uber scout kills anyone?). However, they will probably take longer. This suits me fine, just means I will have more to come back to over the next few weeks/months!

Another important point to note is that out of the 35 achievements, you don’t need all 35 to unlock everything, you need 15,20 then 25 for the 3 unlocks. This means you don’t have to do the really long or silly ones if you can’t/don’t want to but you still get to play with the new toys!

Overall, this looks like a really good update, and I can’t wait to get into all the pyro madness!

Oh, also, free weekend this weekend, so get anyone you know not already playing, playing, and also Meet the Sniper video has been released…and it may well be the best so far.

Spore Creature Creator

Long time no blog, but bored now. The Spore Creature Creator Demo has been released to the wild. It is a trial which contains 25% of the goodness in the full creature creator which you will be able to purchase for $10. Seems like a bitchingly good way to make money to me, a lot of people will purchase this now and then the full game later in the year when it is finally released. I was a bit skeptical about buying it, it is just the creator after all, but after playing with it for a bit I am quite tempted!

It is great fun just starting randomly playing the spine, getting a weird shape then finding the best places for arms, legs, eyes, mouths and weapons. Then you can colour it in in loads of ways to suit it’s character. Then you can easily share your creation with others as the preview thumbnail png actually contains the info for the creature, so all you need is the png and you can play with the creature at your will!

Here are my creations so far:

None of them are particularly creative, it is just me mucking around at the moment. Searching the Internet you will find thousands of creations, some brilliant, some shit, and some childishly rude (refrained myself so far…). Give it a go and see what you can come up with.

Bf2s Returns!

After what seems like forever being down, the premium Battlefield 2 stats site is back up! I am quite excited, as it now means i can track every bullet fired and make sure I put all my effort into getting a little digital badge to say I have spent a long time playing a game!

See the HoG Leaderboard here, or go to the main bf2s page.

Crysis Sequel Update

It has always been hinted that Crysis is the first in a three part story, and after finsihing it I can say this seems very likely. Plus, Cevat Yerli hinted at this a few days ago in an IRC chat with the Incrysis community (the full chat can be seen here). Now it seems there is another hint of a little bit of news on the whole thing. Steven Bender who is head of the Animation team at Crytek, said at a recent event in Berlin that the second part will not only continue the story of the aliens and Koreans, but also improve on the graphics (somehow…). He specifically mentioned improvements to animations and facial textures. Their goal is to get the game feeling so realistic it’s like you are in a film. He also hinted that Crytek were working on another project, a rumour also fueled when they opened up another Studio a few months ago (source: google it you lazy people).

Well, You can’t fault them, it’s not two weeks out the door and they are already seeing ways to improve the graphics. Here’s hoping we get some more information soon and that we don’t have to wait 3 years for this second part to be released!

Original German Source
Shocking English translation

Crysis Review

After years of waiting and anticipating Crysis has finally arrived! The big question is – was it worth the wait? The short answer is “Hell Yes!”, while the long answer is more complicated…

First off is the system requirements – this game is mean on your PC. It will stretch any system to its limits. I am running on a Q6600, 8800GTX, 4GB system, and there were some noticeable slow downs at first. However, by using the first 20 minute section to tweak my settings, managed to get it running at 30 fps with all the settings on High and AA on 4x. Now I do have Vista and can use Very High legitimately (There is a hack to get it working on XP), however I found the trade-off between increased image quality and frame rate drop really didn’t make it worth it. Also, AA seems to kill any frame rate you had – 4x was the maximum I could put it on without watching a slideshow.

Having got the settings just right – the game ran very smoothly and it looks jolly good! In fact, it is by far the best looking game I think I have ever played. This is in part to the excellent technologies running behind the scenes, but also in part by some excellent art direction and all rounded off with some clever level design to show all this off. But everyone knew this game was going to look good. It was the one thing that was certain before its release. But how does the rest of the game hold up?

Continue reading “Crysis Review”

eBay – like a drug…

I have become addicated to eBay again. It happened before I left for the summer and only recently has it kciked back in. It is just so much fun – bidding on random crap you don’t really want, only to NOT get outbid just before it ends, and bidding on stuff you do want, only to be outbid seconds before the end. The only thing that stopped be buying stuff recently was a scare as I noticed my distinct lack of funds…but I found an eBay related solution – to sell some random crap! When I actually went through my stuff thinking – “do I want to sell this on eBay” – I actually came out with 79 items to create listings, take photos and list. And it has been done and it isn’t going too badly. 22 items selling at a total of £88.22 at time of press. And yes, this entire post has been for me to do a shameless plug. Feel free to have a look through my items and see if anything interests you!

Long awaited return post!

I have been away for a wee while down in the London trying to get some work experience and generally not doing any work at all. I returned a few weeks ago, but have been busy wasting time so haven’t gotten round to posting here. It seems the quality of posting dropped dramatically in my abscence so I am here to restore some order. I thought that I would start by going on a bit of a spiel about all the games coming out before the end of the year and tell you why they look promising. I have an awesome plan for another post, but I need to pace myself. So, get ready for a (not so) quick rundown of (in my opinion) the games to look out for this year.

Continue reading “Long awaited return post!”

NOT a Crysis Post!!

OK, I have decided that the standard has been slipping lately in this blog, so I am making a return to bring it back to it’s former glory!

Now the title is a little misleading. This isn’t about Crysis, it is about the CryENGINE2, or more specifically, the editor which allows you to utilise this engine. It just so happens the demos that are available are all for Crysis maps (the only game to be written with the engine…yet). But I have to say the editor looks like it could be a whole new game in itself!

Continue reading “NOT a Crysis Post!!”

Battlefield 2142 Booster Packs (Un)Official!

There has been rumours for a while now of new maps and game modes, ever since the EA Test server was spotted running some interesting looking things. It now appears that the two recently announced (but not really, these are the official statements, which were accidentally posted, the official word will likely come in the next few days) booster packs are behind the new content. Continue reading “Battlefield 2142 Booster Packs (Un)Official!”

New Crysis Gameplay Video

Well some more Crysis news. A new video and interview has emerged from the wonderful people over at Gamespot. While the interview doesn’t reveal much new, the video is awesome. This video alone is enough to make me buy the game to be honest. It shows off the lush environments, the attention to detail, the destructable environment and most importantly the nanosuit and the weapon customizations. The video only contains one small camp and only 4 or 5 baddies, imagine this on a much bigger scale and you will see why Crysis is going to be awesome.

New Video

Here is also another few seconds of footage from the Microsoft Press Conference Games for Windows Video at the CES 2007 (Props to Incrysis.com for the video sources).

Catch you later dudes!