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Fan-made Morrowind restoration will feature two hours of original music

Skywind, the fan-made project rendering the world of The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind with the engine from The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim, has renamed itself the The Elder Scrolls Renewal Project, and released this second development video detailing the progress made so far. The video discusses how crafting (and the tailoring customization option) will be introduced into Skywind, as Morrowind (released in 2002) did not feature crafting. The development team also is seeking volunteers to help rewrite dialogue, and is looking for voice actors with suitable talent and equipment to record lines to make characters less robotic. Volunteer composers have also created more than two hours of original music to form Skywind's soundtrack. To see the team's first developer diary, released in January,...
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Guild Wars' nine year anniversary festivities kick off April 22

ArenaNet will launch a series of in-game festivities for the original Guild Wars' nine year anniversary on April 22 that will run through to April 29. While some of the events have already been implemented, the complete event will open the Shing Jea Boardwalk, the Dragon Arena and Rollerbeetle Racing. Special non-playable characters will also appear, and there will be a 15 minute fireworks display at the beginning of every hour in the Great Temple of Balthazar, Lion's Arch, Shing Jea Monastery and Kamadan, Jewel of Istan. During the anniversary period, the game will also offer players special items that foes will drop. There will be festive items like bottle rockets, sparklers and champagne poppers, alcohol like hard apple cider, hunter's ale and iced tea, as well as sweets like...
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Final Fantasy 3 could be coming to PC

Japanese role-playing game Final Fantasy 3 could be coming to Windows PC, according to a listing on the German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body. The listing for Final Fantasy 3 was registered with the country's ratings board on April 2 by publisher Square Enix. The PC version appears to only have been registered with the German board at the time of writing — similar listings for a PC version do not appear on the European PEGI board or North American ESRB. When contacted, a representative for Square Enix declined to comment on the listing. Final Fantasy 3 was the first numbered entry in the series to feature a job-change system in which characters could switch between and level up different job classes. The story centered on four orphans tasked with restoring balance...
Video
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Watch 50-plus minutes of zombie-infested H1Z1 gameplay

Two developers of H1Z1 took to Twitch this week for the first time to show Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming zombie-filled open-world online game in action. Press play above to see game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt and technical director Tom Schenck walk viewers through H1Z1. The game takes place 15 years after the titular virus appeared, in a world where zombies and other players threaten your existence. In the 54-minute stream, Whisenhunt, who describes H1Z1 as a "hardcore survival game" with permadeath, and Schenck show off its crafting, day and night cycles and combat as they showcase the wonders and horrors of the apocalypse. H1Z1 is expected to be released for $20 through Steam Early Access sometime in the next several weeks. Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley...
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Skullgirls Encore getting its first male character April 22

Skullgirls Encore — a relaunch of 2D fighting game Skullgirls — will get its first male character, Big Band, for free on April 22, Lab Zero Games CEO Peter Bartholow announced today via the PlayStation Blog. Big Band, formerly known as Ben Birdland, was a beat cop who "got on the wrong side" of a corrupt police force. After a brutal attack, Dr. Avian and the ASG Lab 8 fixed him up and armed him with pneumatic weaponry. According to Bartholow, Big Band is a high risk, high reward character with power and versatility. He's also the only character capable of parrying incoming attacks. Although he'll still take some damage, Big Band's parry allows him to counter-attack his opponents with combos and special moves. "Many of his attacks will leave you vulnerable if you miss or misjudge...
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The Elder Scrolls Online's guild bank disabled

The Elder Scrolls Online developer Zenimax Online Studios disabled the game's guild bank feature today on European and North American servers, according to a post on the game's official forums. The developers did not explain why the guild bank feature was disabled in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game or when players might expect it to return. The halt could be in response to a bug that Reddit user Mistress-Rarity described earlier today. "Some of you may already be aware," Mistress-Rarity wrote, "but a game breaking bug has hit ESO that allows characters to duplicate stacks of materials in their bank. It is so simple, in fact, that it is possible to do it by pure accident. I will not explain this exploit, but it is the first result of googling 'ESO Item Dupe.'" The...
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Fenix Fire launches Kickstarter campaign for arcade adventure Source

Indie developer Fenix Fire launched a Kickstarter campaign for its in-development arcade action game Source, which the studio debuted last week at PAX East. The campaign will end on May 11 and is seeking $50,000 to complete development on the title. At the time of writing the campaign has pulled in just over $8,700. According to the project page, Fenix Fire will use the crowdfunding money to develop the game's soundtrack and bring on an additional concept artist. All funding will go directly in the project, which the studio hopes to launch in mid-2015. Source is set in an alternate dimension in which players must fight back against a growing darkness by taking and using energy from other beings. The game includes puzzle-solving and combat scenarios, and players will have to...
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Chroma Squad gameplay video shows you everything you missed at PAX East

A video from Chroma Squad developer Behold Studios shows off 30 minutes of gameplay featured during the demo at PAX East, which took place last weekend. Chroma Squad is a tactical role-playing game in which players control a Power Rangers-esque squad for a TV show. When the cameras aren't rolling, players will cast actors, purchase equipment and craft Mechas. In the video above, game designer Mark Venturelli walks players through creating a studio, recruiting actors and putting together a squad. Once in battle, Venturelli also briefly touches on the role of the audience, how to take out enemies and more. Alpha access to Chroma Squad is currently available to Kickstarter backers and those that pay $25 through the game's website for the Beta Tester Edition. The game is expected to...
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Evolution-based arcade shooter Qualia 3 available today on Steam

Japanese indie developer Doujin Games is bringing its 2D arcade shooter Qualia 3 to Steam later today, the company announced. Players will control an organism called a "Multi Agent" that is constantly evolving and must kill and absorb other creatures to become stronger. Destroying other organisms and taking their energy will unlock new trophies and more powerful forms as players seek to become the most dominant creature in the deep sea environment. There are 26 different body party players can collect from destroyed creatures and then equip for use across eight different stages, each culminating in a final boss. The previous two Qualia games were published in North America as Qlione Evolve in Dec. 2010 through the PlayStation Network. According to a press statement, Qualia 3 includes...
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PS3 bundled with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for $269 at Walmart

A new PlayStation 3 bundle with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is listed on Walmart's website for $269. The 500 GB system also includes the 2012 movie The Amazing Spider-Man, which is available to watch through Vudu's streaming service. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for an April 29 release in the U.S. on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Windows PC. A previously planned Xbox One version has been delayed indefinitely. For more on the game, be sure to read our interview with its developers at Beenox from earlier this month.
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The Titanfall for Vita that wasn't and the decision that changed its name

In early 2012, when Respawn Entertainment was developing a game it called R1 internally, the developers contacted Sony about bringing the game to its unannounced next-generation console. The problem was that Sony wasn't ready to divulge details on the PlayStation 4. It was, however, willing to help Respawn create a version of the game for Sony's handheld, the PlayStation Vita. That didn't work for Respawn,  so programmer Jon Shiring met with a Sony contact for dinner. "I can't emphasize enough," Shiring said. "Decisions are being made here about our game, and we really need to know about the next PlayStation." It didn't take. Sony wasn't ready to talk about the PS4 yet. On the other side of the console spectrum, Microsoft was willing to talk specs about the next-gen Durango platform...
Report
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Three indies discuss the future of free-to-play games

The phrase itself conjures up emotions.The free-to-play model as it's been used in the last few years is divisive. Some see it as a way to lower the barrier to entry, to invite players into games without an upfront financial burden. Others see it used as a crass business model designed to get players to pay to win. It's not only players who wrestle with the revenue model. Developers we we've spoken to are aware of its less than stellar reputation, even as they see its potential benefits. And some of them, particularly independent developers, are looking for ways to invoke the free-to-play model without the baggage associated with it. The free-to-play model is evolving, and the developers at Carbon Games, FrogDice and RobotLovesKitty showed us how. CARBON GAMES: AIRMECH ARENA O...
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6 Comments

Risen 3 teaser trailer is all teeth and swords

A new teaser trailer for Risen 3: Titan Lords offers a brief glimpse at one of the enemies sea-faring players will have to face once they step into the game's war-torn world. Risen 3: Titan Lords is the third game in developer Piranha Bytes' pirate-focused role-playing game franchise. Like in previous installments — players will be able to explore the world at their leisure and engage in combat with various foes. The story will focus on a young warrior whose soul is stolen; he then sets out on a revenge quest to reclaim it. The world, "abandoned by all gods" according to the Risen 3 website, is filled with different guilds that the player must align himself with in order to achieve his goals. "Like a carpenter with a hand-crafted piece of furniture, we put together the story, the...
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The modder who fixed Dark Souls' PC port scrutinizes Dark Souls 2

Peter "Durante" Thoman, the modder who took it upon himself to vastly improve the visual quality of the Windows PC port of the original Dark Souls, has weighed in on the technical merits of the game's sequel at PC Gamer, calling it "a better experience and a more beautiful game." In his look at the pre-release version of Dark Souls 2 for Windows PC, Thoman breaks down the forthcoming version's graphical options, its performance and the sheer size of its assets. He provides a handful of comparison screenshots, showing the PC version's leap in shadow, texture and model quality. "While it is not quite the (almost generational) leap which was initially shown in previews, Dark Souls 2 on PC is a better experience and a more beautiful game than even a fully modded Dark Souls 1," Thoman...
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Defense Grid 2 and the refinement of tower defense

Hidden Path's Defense Grid 2 builds upon the well-established, but consistently addictive tower defense formula that has engrossed players for more than a decade. The crowdfunding-backed strategy game takes the creep-killing fun of the original game, Defense Grid: The Awakening, and further refines — rather than redefines — it with a bevy of intelligent changes. Using resources that are doled out over time, Defense Grid 2 tasks players with building a series of defensive towers in an attempt to stop aliens from plundering their base. A variety of towers are available in the game's arsenal, from long-range cannon towers to low-cost gun towers to lasers, which quickly fire but deliver a continued burn. The goal, as in most games in the tower defense family, is to build the smartest...
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Everquest 2's All Access benefits include loot bonuses and loyalty items

EverQuest 2 players with Sony Online Entertainment's All Access plan will receive seven character slots, members-only loyalty items and more, SOE announced today. All Access subscribers to the Windows PC massively multiplayer online role-playing game will also receive a 15 percent bonus to coin loot and a 10 percent bonus to mount speed. They'll earn double the amount of alternate currencies and have assess to broker, in-game mail, chat and spell tiers. All Access subscribers will also receive early access to content beginning next week when the program launches "on or about" April 23 with EverQuest 2's High Keep dungeon zone. Earlier this year, SOE announced that players will be able to subscribe to its catalogue of games for a single, monthly payment of $14.99. You can learn more...
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