Out This Week

Total War: Rome II

The Rayman Empire

Rayman, Rome, and Diablo III return in this week’s new releases.

By Drew Toal • September 4, 2013

Out This Week is a look at a few new games that are out this week.

Rayman Legends
PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Wii U—September 3

Gamespot calls Rayman Legends “an unabashed delight”. That sounds exactly like the kind of thing I’m looking for after brutally killing and sleeping with thousands of simulated people, objects, and aliens in Saints Row IV. That one was also a delight, but definitely more abashed.

Total War: Rome II
PC—September 3

I have a mostly unread three-volume set of Edward Gibbon’s The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire sitting conspicuously on my bookshelf, where people can pass by and be suitably impressed by my ability to position impressive-looking books where everyone can see them. In preparation for Total War, I will now remove one of these dusty, august tomes and open to a random page to share some of Gibbon’s context-less wisdom: “The origin of walled towns is ascribed to their calamitous period; nor could any distance be secure against an enemy, who, almost at the same instant, laid in ashes the Helvetian monastery of St. Gall, and the city of Bremen on the shores of the northern ocean. Above 30 years the Germanic empire, or kingdom, was subject to the ignominy of tribute; and resistance was disarmed by the menace, the serious and effectual menace, of dragging the women and children into captivity, and of slaughtering the males above the age of 10 years.” Serious and effectual menace? What about the lamentations of the women, Gibbon? What about the lamentations of the women?!?

PC—September 4

Outlast looks to be the rare type of game that puts the player in a position of weakness, without the abilities of an unstoppable demigod and enough ammunition to kill the world twice over. From the trailer alone, we see it sticks you in a mental hospital with blood-slick floors and faulty electricity, lots of dark corners, and torsos laying everywhere. Your character has no discernible weapons and often uses terror-heightening night vision mostly to cripple themselves with fear. Somebody hold me.

Diablo III
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—September 3

At last, the probably-beloved-by-someone dungeon-crawler comes to consoles, even as an expansion called Reaper Of Souls is announced for 2014. Reaper Of Souls promises to cut down on the quantity of loot drops, while increasing the digi-swag’s quality. That’s all well and good, but what will this game do to prevent internet degenerates from trying to hack my fallow Battle.net account fortnightly? Somebody at Blizzard needs to hear my lamentations.

Share this with your friends and enemies

Write a scintillating comment

103 Responses to “The Rayman Empire”

  1. rvb1023 says:

    Outlast and Huntsman: The Orphanage this week, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs the next. It’s a indie horror extravaganza! And I maybe can’t afford it.

    • boardgameguy says:

      I still have not worked up the courage to play more than an hour into the first Amnesia.

      • The_Misanthrope says:

         I want to play Amnesia and it seems to run fine on my shitty laptop, but I really want to wait until I can play it on something with a bigger screen and better sound.  It’s hard to get immersed when you can easily see the space about while playing. 

    • The_Misanthrope says:

       Yeah, I’m glad to see horror making a sort of comeback.  It has been trending towards slicker and shootier games for a while– less horror than shooters with more viscera–so I hope these games are likely to take off.

      • rvb1023 says:

         The only horror true survival horror game that didn’t have action as it’s main selling point released by a major studio in this generation was the Siren remake and that didn’t even get a disc release in America.

        Every other horror game has had an action bent or was made by indie studios. It’s been an incredibly sad generation for horror games.

  2. NakedSnake says:

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is not nearly as fun as Suetonius’ The Twelve Caesars. That book is virtually all gossip, murder, sex, and power.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I prefer Cicero’s orations during the Cataline Conspiracy, but Suetonius has some stuff going for himself. Mind you, he’s no Herodotus, with flying giants made from eyeballs and shit.

      That said, my 6-Volume copy of “Decline and Fall” is leather-bound and has golden edges, so I am clearly more sophisticated than Drew. (I’ve also only leafed through it, but that’s not really important here.)
      And yes… -pushes up glasses, pours brandy, stokes Meerschaum Pipe- …it’s real leather.

      • NakedSnake says:

        Herodotus, once abridged, is the best. My favorite story is the rise of Darius (i.e. Conspiracy of the Magi), although the Cyrus/Harpagus story is a close second. I have often dreamed of making an old-school adventure-style game drawing mostly from Herodotus. King’s Quest V would be a good template.

    • Fluka says:

      I wish someone would make a game about Roman imperial politics, rather than the usual RTS and city-builders, to take advantage of all the backstabbing and rogering and baby eating.  An Assassin’s Creed style open-world intrigue game, maybe.  Or at the very least a CK2-style strategy game.  (Have Paradox not done this?)

      I Claudius is the best part of any Latin class.  I wish they’d let us just read the Suetonius as well.

      • CNightwing says:

        I concur, but I think Paradox would do a better job of the Republican period. If you want an entertaining (and confusing, and complicated) afternoon, there is the classic boardgame (rereleased recently) Republic of Rome, in which you try to position your faction of senators to make the most income by various corrupt means and acquire enough influence to become Dictator for Life before they ship you off to Rhaetia to govern some awful uprising.

    • patagonianhorsesnake says:

       decline and fall is actually a lot of fun, even though parts of it can draaag and gibbon was a fan of huge footnotes in french or latin just because. but it’s fun! and people should read it.

      • Effigy_Power says:

        His general central thesis of Rome having collapsed because it became to effeminate could also be looked at with a raised eyebrow of course. ^_^

        • patagonianhorsesnake says:

           well sure, part of the fun is disagreeing with every one of his conclusions while getting lost in the endless digressions and dryly sarcastic footnotes!

        • NakedSnake says:

          Also: barbarians. Don’t forget the barbarians.

        • Salmon says:

          True, though as the gender politics of Roman Historians go (or in Gibbon’s case, historians about Rome), we’ve got SO MUCH to work with. Like the fun trend that any woman who seemed to have even a little bit of influence over the men in positions of power (Livia, Theodora, Agrippina, etc) are all characterized as essentially the same sort of person — a power-mad, conniving, backstabbing, duplicitous monster. It served to express a fear of powerful women while also indirectly absolving guys like Tiberius of their weaknesses by indicating that they were being domineered by hyper-Machiavellian women.

          As far as Gibbon goes, one could try for a non-gendered version of his criticism of the late Empire and say that Rome fell because of the dual forces of Christianity’s effect on their culture and the delegation of military power to Germanic warlords?

        • Sarapen says:

          @SalmonLeap:disqus Wasn’t St. Augustine’s City of God supposed to get Christians off the hook for ruining Rome’s reputation as party central?

        • Effigy_Power says:

          For me the biggest factor was always that Rome was based on expansion and when the expansion slowed down due to insurmountable distances and a maddening number of provinces and protectorates, the income just wasn’t there anymore and the whole thing fell apart. But that’s of course just one of many, but probably my favorite.

    • Salmon says:

      I love Suetonius, it’s definitely the one to read before Tacitus (though after secondary school Tacitus really grew on me despite his comparative dryness, due to what seems like his utter frustration and indignation about cruel autocrats)

      What’s also funny is that Caligula’s life is one of the sections of Tacitus that’s been lost, leaving us only with Suetonius’ version of his reign. What a coincidence that Caligula’s life is known to be utterly bonkers, then!

  3. psib says:

    Outlast seems interesting, havent played a scary game in a while. I’ll probably pick up Rayman Legends for Vita because I keep forgetting I have one of those things.

  4. Cloks says:

    Oh man, Diablo III! That’s totally a game I didn’t spend sixty dollars on pre-release over a year ago.

    I have yet to buy a game that was a worse waste of money and I own Duke Nukem Forever.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      I completely ran out of steam on Diablo III somewhere around…Act 3? 4?  The one where you start in the fortress and have to fight off attackers.  I realized that by that point I had pretty much lost interest in isometric fantasy loot-pinata casino games.

      • patagonianhorsesnake says:

         i stopped at act 2, but mainly because i started hating every character in the game, including my own.

      • KidvanDanzig says:

        I stopped playing after my first outing with the game, in which I realized that the “hiccups” / feedback lag that plagued my Diablo 2 online experience were endemic to the Diablo 3 experience and completely unavoidable, because Social Gaming

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          Ohhh, how could I forget about that?  “Our online servers just crashed, so even though you’re playing single player, have fun replaying your last 45 minutes!” Screw you, Blizzard!

        • MesotheleonaHelmsley says:

           I had zero inclination to reclaim my account after it had been hacked. I figured whoever would go through so much effort could get more use out of it than myself. A pretty harsh indictment if I do say so myself.

    • CrabNaga says:

      Diablo III was a flawed gem! You take that back! Let’s hope that with the removal of the AH, improvement on the different classes’ abilities (dodging, mainly), and overall polish on the whole affair, it’s at least a normal gem now.

      I was watching a friend play Diablo III the other day, which is the first time I’ve seen it in a year, probably, and it looked like they made a ton of changes to make the game a lot more fun. If I weren’t preoccupied with Rayman Legends and biting my lip to not jump the gun and get (the obviously inferior version of) GTAV on console, I’d load up my old Demon Hunter and, well, hunt some demons.

      • Buttersnap says:

        I want to hijack here and get into the possibility of future GTA 5 versions (anything non ps3 or 360). It seems very likely that they’d want this thing out everywhere. Especially since it is so late in the timeline of those systems. They don’t want to talk about it because that could detract sales from the first versions.

        But then they drop news of a bigger online component than we expected. One that could be difficult to support on future systems. And rockstar tends to be all “fuck it. We have this huge install base that will buy this. Why spend dev costs for unproven environments.” And then they go swim in cash like Scrooge McDuck.

        I don’t have my 360 any more and I’m just going to wait for the new systems to replace it. I initially thought GTA 5 for those new systems would be a slam dunk…but now I actually find myself (pathetically) worried.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          I’m holding out for the PC version – worst case scenario and they pull a Red Dead Redemption with it, I’ll at least be able to get the console version for cheaper… pre-owned, even, to punish them for neglecting my platform of choice. Take that, The Man!

        • Unexpected Dave says:

          It’s pretty uncommon to see games get “up-ported”. Major PS2 games of 2006 including FFXII, KH2, and Guitar Hero 2 were never released on PS3. On the other hand, Call of Duty, Tony Hawk, and the major sports titles did get PS3 versions.

      • KidvanDanzig says:

        how anyone could think that GTAV will get a superior PC release after the experience of GTAIV on the same platform, I do not know

    • neodocT says:

       Funny that I had no interest at all in the PC version of Diablo III, yet the possibility of couch co-op makes it seem like the funnest thing ever. If only I had a console again…

      • Patrick Batman says:

         I plan to buy it purely for the couch co-op.  You just know Best Buy will have it for like $25 come Black Friday.

  5. DrFlimFlam says:

    I real Out This Week would just cover games on sale in various digital marketplaces.

  6. Fluka says:

    So apparently the new Dragon Age has playable qunari, is bringing back the tactical camera, can now render black people, and is super-pretty.  I’ll just be right here.  *Sits down to wait patiently for another twelve months.*

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      I can’t wait!  After my dwarven prince sacrificed himself in DA1, and the crap Hawke went through in DA2, I’m fully committed to genocide on all mages.

      • Fluka says:

        BIGOT!  (I’ve played mage in both games…but my Hawke ultimately sided with the Templars in DA2 because she was conflicted and had issues and also Fenris.)

        • DrFlimFlam says:

          I just wish I had rolled mage on my mage-friendly run. But I was a tank, which would be a great mage-hater. Now what, I should roll a self-loathing mage?

          Wait, should I?

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          It would definitely fit with the storyline, especially if you realized at the end that to defeat the Queen Templar you needed to blood magic yourself into a demon.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          I agree with @AuroraBoreanaz:disqus about the general mage psychology.

        • NakedSnake says:

          I definitely played as a “we are born to rule” renegade elf mage. I’ve never played as a mage main character in an RPG before, but for Dragon Age it worked so well with the setting that I had to try it. It was incredibly satisfying and coherent.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      My asshole-Warden Commander is currently in Mystery-land with Morrigan after killing Alistair, taking the throne and letting Amaranthine burn to the ground.
      My Lady Hawke was Viscount of Kirkwall and personally stabbed Pouty McEmo-mage in the head while having outrageous sex with Isabela.
      I can only marvel at the selfish duchebaggery my third DA character will get down to.

      • Aurora Boreanaz says:

        Ladyhawke!  Did your adventuring party include Matthew Broderick and 80s music?

      • Fluka says:

        Yay Ladyhawke!

        My Warden was a fussy elf mage who did everything lawfully goodly with her lawful good boyfriend Alistair.  Having put Anora on the throne, she is now wandering the countryside being lawful and good as a Warden.  I kind of hate her.

        My own mage Lady Hawke mostly wanted to spend her time drinking and cracking jokes with Garrus Varric and having the world’s most dysfunctional romance with Fenris.  Until her stupid Viscount job and general mage batshittery forced her to actually be responsible.  

        Anders is a dick, but I almost find it refreshing how much of an unlikeable character he is.  (Plus, this scene is hilarious.)  I am super-happy about Varric being back, though.  Varric!

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          Brian Bloom is awesome, and so, by association, is Varric.

        • Effigy_Power says:

          My issue with Anders is that he was hilarious in Awakening. The first scene has him cast fireblast on some Darkspawn and then he blows on his fingers, because fire.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          My Warden was black with red hair, which was odd, given the rest of his family were white people. I forgot to finish DA.

          Also, is there anyone worth romancing outside of Isabella? The rest of them just have sticks up their collective butts.

        • Zach_Annon says:

           I still mostly remember Anders for his appearance in Awakening, where he was (as Effigy so aptly put it) hilarious.  It’s been so long since I’ve played DA2, I don’t really remember his character arc, so instead I will treasure the memory of Ser Pounce-a-Lot and his quips.

        • Fluka says:

          @Zach_Annon:disqus Ser Pounce-a-Lot for Dragon Age 3 companion!!

          @HobbesMkii:disqus Well, I like Fenris, but that may be a straight fangirl thing (his voice is just so unexpectedly manly, you guys!).  They all seriously have sticks up their bums, though.  Especially Fenris.  But especially Anders.  But ESPECIALLY Sebastian.  (And romancing poor confused Merrill just seems kind of unethical.)

        • Effigy_Power says:

          I am afraid that as far as pretty, but still manly elves go, Iorveth from Witcher 2 makes Fenris look like a buzzkill.
          Meryll isn’t unfun, if a bit too ballasted with issues. I really wanted Aveline, but she’s way too awesome to be woo’ed by someone like Hawke.
          And there’s always Sebastian, who is a striking figure… but only if you’re into the Promise-Ring-Crowd.

        • Fluka says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus FINE.  I’ll play The Witcher 2.  Stupid incongruously manly elf men. 

        • duwease says:

          Almost done with DA2, and I don’t think I’m romancing anyone.  Everyone’s too unstable and/or (SPOILER) traitor-y.

          Too bad, because I liked the romantic interests in DA:O.  Leliana and Morrigan were both interesting, and.. I can’t remember who I romanced when I was the angry city elf lady rogue.. Alistair, maybe?

      • DrFlimFlam says:

        My DA2 character was quite similar except being male.

        Call me a softy, but that was the postscript i wanted – that Hawke and Isabella left together and stayed that way, for all anyone knows.

    • dreadguacamole says:

       They’ve got a lot to prove, after their last few blunders – and that’s a pretty good thing. That, and the fact that they’re giving this one a little more time in the oven; color me cautiously, reticently optimistic.

      • Fluka says:

        The longer release time seems to be part of EA’s cunning new strategy of “not being totally evil and idiotic.”  (See also: the Humble Bundle charity sale, Origin’s free refunds, etc.)  I’m part of the vocal minority that actually enjoyed Dragon Age 2, but the rushed development cycle was painfully obvious.  At the very least, this is the prettiest DA game so far, even a year in advance.

        • HobbesMkii says:

          I liked DA2, as much as I played, although it did feel samey and the plot wandered in and out of coherence, (although I appreciated them experimenting with complex storytelling).

        • dreadguacamole says:

           I’m really torn on DA2 – up to the point where the qunari situation is resolved, I was ready to shout its praises to the wind, warts and all. And then they dropped the ball in every conceivable way.
           If it hadn’t been rushed and understaffed, it may have been my favorite bioware by far. As it stands, well, it’s a bunch of really cool intentions that never really cohered for me.

        • WELCOME_THRILLHO says:

           I’m pretty meh on DA2. I felt like they had the trappings for an interesting immigrant story- arriving as refugees, climbing up the social ladder rung by rung until you’re named Champion and tasked with defending the home you’ve made your own. But once you got into the city they just pushed fast-forward for five years and moved onto something else. And then this thing with the Qunari happened and the ten years later the whole thing blew up. Discounting all the recycled assets, I wanted more connective tissue.

      • Effigy_Power says:

        Yeah, I’ve never really seen any of the stuff that apparently made EA into the NSDAP, especially not Dragon Age 2, which I enjoyed immensely and actually liked better than DA:O or any Mass Effect.
        I am sure EA did something wherever whatever, but for me that’s almost entirely anecdotal. So far they’ve done fine by me.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          Not a SimCity fan, I take it : )

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Sure, I was looking forward to Sim City, but well. Other companies have made similarly baffling decisions.

          And hey, with less technical problems this might actually have worked out. I mean, us “gamers” (ugh), we are pretty fickle, when it comes down to it. What we consider ground-breaking and innovative in one game, or more recently it seems, one developer, we becry as shoddy and intrusive for another. If EA would only for a second indulge in the weirdness of the latest DoubleFine campaign, we’d all drop our jaws and wag our fingers. I think it’s mostly a case of it being easy to hate on the big player. Bethesda, who I also quite like, delivers a lot of very buggy, borderline unplayable games, and luckily has the community to mop up behind them, at least on PC. That’s criticized, but nowhere near as much as EA’s latest “puppy-stomping”. Dark Souls was a disastrous port from console to PC and 99% of people I talked to were perfectly fine with modding and tweaking to make it borderline playable. Had that been an EA game, the reception would have been different.

          Now, don’t get me wrong, SimCity was a utter failure on a lot of accounts, but I think it glosses over a lot of ideas that might have been okay if it had worked out. Connecting my city to that of a friend certainly sounds like a neat feature.
          And EA is hardly the only proponent of Always-On-DRM either. They got shit on a lot and I think a lot of that was people, me included, dumping our collective frustrations with the entire industry on one product and one developer, who then has to stand in as amalgamated bogeyman.

          All I can really and somewhat objectively judge (if that’s at all possible with such a subjective form of entertainment) are the EA games I have and most of those are excellent, with a whole lot of those filling out my Top 10 of games.

          So while I think they are no better than other devs, I am not altogether sure they deserve the reputation they have now, which basically paints them as the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells. I don’t want to be an apologist/White Knight for EA. That’s not really a position that suits me. But focusing all evil on one company often overshadows the fact that we have been served our fair share of crap-sandwiches (however many a fair share constitutes) from just about every developer ever.

        • EmperorNortonI says:

           I think the ancestral origin of the EA grudge came from the 90’s, when they bought up and killed many of the best PC gaming studios, and then worked with MicroSoft to destroy the PC as a gaming platform, in favor of the Xbox.

          Of course, many of the true EA haters are far too young to remember any of that, so maybe it’s just me.  But I’ve been angry at them ever since they destroyed Origin (makers of Ultima and Wing Commander) and Maxis (technically still around, but nothing like they were in their independent heyday), and theoretically lament their destruction of Bullfrog and Westwood.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          @EmperorNortonI:disqus Never forget Origins!
           But seriously, theses things come and go in waves. EA had a pretty good streak going a few years back with risky, original IPs. I think most of the hate on them at the moment comes from perceived business decisions imposed on the studios whose games they publish; things like arbitrary, mandatory on-line components, DLC and microtransactions, which are all things guaranteed to get teh internets into a frothing frenzy. That, and the fact that their PR department is terrible.

           I personally think Activision is a lot worse as a publisher (routinely closing down studios, not publishing any games I’m interested in in favour for bland, more mercenary stuff, and for being headed by Mr. Kotick, the suit-iest suit out of all public-facing suits). But EA, fairly or not, can be blamed in part for messing with the games put out by Bioware, one of the most beloved companies out there; so they’re going to take a lot of flak.

           Also, for a gaming company to get voted as the worst company of america is hilariously wrong. Shouldn’t you put, you know, a company with the potential to actually affect anything important on that spot?

        • Halloween_Jack says:

          I think that a lot of gamers simply decided to take their frustration with the world in general and anything and everything that’s fucked up in it that affects them–their job (or lack thereof), crazy politics, worrying about global warming, stupid reality shows, whatever–and focused in on ME3 having a suboptimal ending. All of the other sins that EA is accused of–buying out other game companies, trying to extract as much out of each franchise as possible, messing up the Sims, whatever–doesn’t add up to a fraction of the real human misery caused by, say, Bank of America, which EA beat out in the Consumerist poll for worst company in America, two years in a row. And a lot of the haters are still furious about it, as I see on the Mass Effect subreddit from time to time; I start to wonder if some of them are perhaps lacking in some subtle getting-over-it gene. 

    • HobbesMkii says:

      Well, I’m glad Skyrim has come out between now and DA2. It looks like they’ve “drawn some inspiration” re: dragon encounters.

      • Fluka says:

        From what they’ve said, it sounds like it’s both similar to and different from Skyrim, in that there are no random dragon encounters, but instead a bunch of hand-crafted one-off fights designed to be challenging.  Other than that, yeah, Skyrim clearly made an impression.  But man, Skyrim style exploration + BioWare character development?  Would make me very happy.  

        • HobbesMkii says:

          Still, for a game called “Dragon Age,” which would seem to imply an age full of dragons, there’s been a relative dearth of dragons.

        • Fluka says:

          @HobbesMkii:disqus True dat.  Though Skyrim sometimes made me just plain tired of dragon attacks.  “Oh come on, not again!  I’m eating lunch here!”

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          “Hey mages!  Did you happen to notice that your immediate airspace is constantly full of dragons, and your courtyard covered in bones?  How about some of you actually fight them off, instead of waiting for me to do it every time?”

          “Oh, I’m the archmage now, right.  So, uh…I order you all to kill that dragon!”

          “That’s it.  You’re all fired.”

        • Effigy_Power says:

          Weeeeeell, Dragon Age refers to a calendar. I mean, World War 2 didn’t have a ton of worlds fighting each other by throwing their prospective satellites at each other.
          That said, I think scripted dragon encounters are better. Yes, sometimes, very rarely, dragons in Skyrim do something awesome. But it’s an incredible exception. Usually it’s flap, flap, float, float, spew, land, claw, dead. So a big encounter with interesting set-pieces… why not?
          People say that scripted events are lame, but when it comes to action you can’t depend on improv. There’s a reason why action movies are so very rehearsed and done and done again. It just works out better.

        • Fluka says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus I think during my time in Skyrim, I had only two really memorable random dragon encounters.  First, an attack in the middle of a (modded) total whiteout blizzard.  Second, DOUBLE DRAGON.  I died both times, which felt fair.

        • NakedSnake says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus on the other hand, if somebody made an improv action movie, I might watch it at least once. Just give all the actors guns and nunchucks and see what happens!

        • HobbesMkii says:

          @Effigy_Power:disqus I think it’s a world war because it involved nearly every country in the world and the fighting took place on every continent inhabited by humans, thus the war covered the whole world, not that the war was between worlds (which would be a Worlds’ War).

          Also, according to the in-game lore, it was named the Dragon Age specifically because of the presence of dragons in it, which to me seems to suggest they should be a bigger deal than they were in either game (although, the dragon that guards the Urn was pretty sweet). http://dragonage.wikia.com/wiki/Dragon_Age_(time_period)

        • KidvanDanzig says:

          So far it reminds me of a less comedic Brutal Legend, with all that entails, primarily that the strategy elements they’re touting will be paper-thin. In all other respects the gameplay sounds like the same sort of system they’ve stuck with since KOTOR day, but that’s not really a bad thing. I’m just waiting for them to stick the landing with an action RPG with an engine that doesn’t feel stuck between worlds. ME3 was their best effort in this regard, but DA2 felt like the nutrasweet to Arkham Asylum’s sugar. The numerical RPG trappings just didn’t add much.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          @HobbesMkii:disqus : I’m not that up to date with my Dragon Age lore, but maybe there weren’t any dragons around on the ages that came before it?

        • Halloween_Jack says:

          @HobbesMkii:disqus : If we’re supposedly living in the Golden Age of something or another (say, gadgets), does that mean we all get a huge pile of gold?

      • ProfFarnsworth says:

        I once experienced a troll attacking a dragon, only to be supplanted by a mammoth and a giant also attacking the dragon too.  Needless to say…that dragon killed the troll and the giant, but not the mammoth.

    • Sarapen says:

      “Can now render black people”? Was there some controversy about that? Please say it was on the level of dark elf “Al Jolson in the Jazz Singer” shenanigans.

      • Fluka says:

        A leeetle.  Dragon Age’s old engine seemed to have…trouble…with darker skin tones.  In that the characters mostly looked like they had really bad sun burn.  To say nothing of non-caucasian facial structures.  The new mage companion lady, Vivienne, however, appears to be actually black, as opposed to being questionably swarthy like Isabela.  So it looks like the new engine will let you be African American Thedan.

    • Boko_Fittleworth says:

      This Game Informer podcast dealie where they talk to Laidlaw for the better part of an hour is quite interesting.


  7. Citric says:

    PSN Classics has Stella Deus now, meaning I will be tempted to buy Stella Deus every day even though I have way too many games.

  8. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    Two releases that caught my eye this week:

    Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons is now on Steam, controller still required.

    I have no real idea what MirrorMoon EP‘s deal is, but the trailer is interesting enough that I want to know more.

    • ItsTheShadsy says:

      Whoa whoa whoa, what is this MirrorMoon business, and why have I not heard about it until now?! Actually you know what, nevermind. I think the less I know going in, the better. Wishlist’d!

      • The_Helmaroc_King says:

        I only know it exists because it’s on the front page of the Steam store right now, which is nice of Valve to do, I suppose.

        If I wasn’t being stingy at the moment, I might snap a game like this up in a heartbeat. I saw this image and thought to myself, “That’s a damn fine image.”

        I can’t find any reviews as-of yet, only trailers and the occasional preview, so I’m not sure what to think yet.

    • Jer Link says:

       I think just watching that MirrorMoon trailer was enough to influence my dreams tonight. thanks for sharing.

  9. HobbesMkii says:

    I’m very very very interested in Rome II: Total War (also, Creative Assembly, you’re dicks for putting the series name after the colon rather than before it), but unfortunately I promised this month’s gaming budget to GTAV.

    • Effigy_Power says:

      I’d love to be able to play any of the Total War series, but without round-based combat I lose the plot totally, send my troops in whoknowswhat direction and end up being brutally murdered. I can’t get over the fact that the computer can react much quicker than me and has the ability to make a thousand order per second, whereas I am probably scrolling around in panic, looking for my annihilated Greek Auxiliaries.
      Sorry no, but no.

      • Carlton_Hungus says:

        That’s why I prefer TW: Empire and Napoleon.  Lure your enemy into attacking you, set up your guns and cannons on higher ground and watch the slaughter ensue.

        Of course one can always slow down the gamespeed or even pause to give as many orders as desired in rapido tiempo.

    • ComradePig says:

      The game itself is clearly awesome and all I’d hoped but the launch has been a real mess so far.

      The game is playable for me and I’ve had some fun times with multiplayer, like I said the potential is all there, but there are major technical issues that are preventing even good rigs from running the game with crisp visuals and without moderate-severe slowdown.

      The first patch is coming tomorrow, so hopefully things will get fixed soon or the game’s reputation is really going to take a hit.

      • HobbesMkii says:

        Hrm…that’s selfishly good news for me. Fallout: New Vegas‘s poor start meant that its price quickly dropped, which meant I picked it up on sale for very cheap, even though it was (and remains) an excellent game, minus its horrible, crippling, launch bugs. 

        I guess I’ll defer this dream until December.

    • wykstrad says:

       The main thing you need to know about Rome II at this point is that Tom Chick gave a AAA title a 1-star, Metacritic-average-wrecking review, and the usual dozens of people coming in from Metacritic are almost unanimously praising him for doing so.  It really seems like the game needed 6 more months for testing (and possibly for tech standards to catch up to the game).


    Those Gauls and their pajama bottoms. You’re going out in public, guys! Have some pride in yourselves! Were you raised in a yurt?!

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      Those identical hairdo-shaped helmets have got to go as well.

    • His_Space_Holiness says:

      This game damn well better show Gauls punching Romans straight up into the air with a loud PAF! Also wild boar. Lots of wild boar.

  11. Chalkdust says:

    So Microsoft just announced the Xbox One’s launch date and, to my surprise anyway, it’s a week after the PlayStation 4’s launch date.  Wuddaheck?  After all that back-walking on the XB1 features and functionality in light of the competition, I would have thought they’d either release before PS4 or at least launch simultaneously to jockey for market share.

    They also announced an increase in hardware performance on the CPU and GPU, (CPU up from 1.6 GHz to 1.75 GHz, and a “6% increase” on the GPU). Take what you can get, eh.

    • George_Liquor says:

      Wow! How bizarre is it for MS to be tweaking the hardware this close to a release? Prerelease Xbones are already in the wild, so are they stuck at the lower clock speed or will they get bumped up with a firmware update? Is this going to have an impact on games that were tested on the slower hardware?

    • Effigy_Power says:

      The plastic it’s made of is also 3% more Polyethylene.

    • Citric says:

      I don’t think they’re actually finished this thing, which is worrying since they have to start making them and getting shipments ready and whatnot to make their launch.

      I hope someone writes a book on the Xbone development, it promises to be both hilarious and highly dramatic.