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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dragon Age 2 DRM debate continues


Last week there was a lot of "he said, she said" accusations about the PC version of Dragon Age 2's DRM set up. A self-appointed watchdog web site called Reclaim Your Game claims that the PC port of BioWare's RPG sequel had used SecuROM without revealing that fact to consumers. BioWare reps denied that, stating that the PC version used a release control software made by the same company that also made SecuROM but that the two were not the same product.

Now Reclaim Your Game has fired back, saying that Dragon Age 2's use of the company's release control product is just another form of SecuROM, stating, "Contrary to what EA and Bioware have stated, SecuROM Release Control is implemented in Dragon Age 2 without Consumer notification through its Game Packaging, Manual, Readme and EULA." The organization also claims that it won't help BioWare with "fixing" this situation while at the same time offering its services to other game publishers and developers.
Disclaimer: All information on this blog has been compiled from their respective official websites or through public domain sites and leading newspapers. Although, we have taken reasonable efforts to provide you with accurate information, but we assumes no responsibility for the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the Information and would advise you to verify it from the official product provider. We cannot guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.

More changes in membership for PC Gaming Alliance


A few weeks ago, Big Download was the first to report that two founding members of the PC Gaming Alliance, Microsoft and Nvidia, had departed the non-profit organization. Now it seems that another founding member is reducing its involvment in the PCGA and yet another member has left entirely.

According to the PCGA's members web page, founding member Dell is now listed as a "Contributing" member of the organization rather than its previous role in the higher tier "Promoters" member level. Furthermore another PCGA Promoter member, Sony DADC (who among other products handles the SecuROM DRM programs that are used in a number of PC games) has apparently left the organization entirely.

This leaves just founding members Epic Games and Intel as Promoter members of the PCGA along with Razer and Capcom who joined after the organization was founded in 2008.
Disclaimer: All information on this blog has been compiled from their respective official websites or through public domain sites and leading newspapers. Although, we have taken reasonable efforts to provide you with accurate information, but we assumes no responsibility for the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the Information and would advise you to verify it from the official product provider. We cannot guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.

The Precursors review


You start The Precursors in a suspiciously corridor-shaped jungle, shooting plant monsters. Two marines with the same voice-actor nag you to hurry up, even after they’ve been melted by plant spit. This is not a polished game.

Depending on who you talk to in this FPS-RPG, your name is Tris, or Treece, or Trees Creighton and you’re a soldier in the Amarnian army. Actually, wait, an ace space pilot. Or a mercenary. A bounty hunter, even. Someone somewhere spilled coffee on the The Precusors’ story bible.

Lonely planet
After the linear jungle section, you get to roam around Goldyn, a desert planet with one detailed town and lots of bandits and dunes. You can keep with the shonky story, but there’s a wealth of secondary missions you can get from the city folk. Find my car. Kill my wife. Buy me drugs. Kill four ogre lizard guys, and bring me their hands for soup. They say things like, “Did you get make the bandits dead okay?” You’re allowed to reply, “No problem buddy, much less is the worry!” All of the dialogue is this badly translated, and it grows on you.

The missions are short, well signposted and well paid. You get a buggy early in the story, so traversing the desert is fairly painless. But there isn’t anything terribly exciting to buy with your cash and the things you really need – replacement tyres for your buggy, or more bullets for the gun on your buggy – are nowhere to be found. As well as cash, you get experience points and go up levels. When you do that, you can sift through the bargain bin of boring perks. Do I want to run slightly faster, or get better at breaking into filing cabinets for worthless junk? Progression comes in small, tedious steps.

After fighting the good fight on Goldyn, you get your very own space ship so you can fly to planet Gli. There, you’ve got to incite a civil war so you can distract the natives, poison all of their babies, and pave the way for colonial genocide. Things pick up here, though.

You’re best to ignore the story and jet around in space. Responsive controls let you engage in dogfights with interceptors and strafing runs on capital ships, or cruise smoothly between star systems. In space, there’s a system of interdependent reputation sliders that govern how factions interact with you. Kill some Free Traders, and your reputation increases in the eyes of the Intergalactic Empire of Just Stop All That Free Trading Thanks. It’s a welcome note of complexity.

You can also buy cheap goods and sell them somewhere else for profit, but there’s no real incentive to – the premium upgrades aren’t much better than the standard shields and lasers, and you’re fully upgraded in just a few short milk runs, regardless.

For a game that I’m about to injure with a smallish number, it reminds me a little of Morrowind. You can spend hours lost among alien worlds, dreamily hunting defenceless trade vessels in space, blissfully ignoring your mission pointers.

The Precursors doesn’t make it compelling. You don’t get new toys to play with. You can’t do anything meaningful with all the cash except stock up on medkits and missiles. You’re left with the urge to play a better space trader like X3: Reunion, or a better sci-fi RPG like Mass Effect 2. Do that instead.
Disclaimer: All information on this blog has been compiled from their respective official websites or through public domain sites and leading newspapers. Although, we have taken reasonable efforts to provide you with accurate information, but we assumes no responsibility for the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the Information and would advise you to verify it from the official product provider. We cannot guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.

White Gold review


“Zombies? That’s ridiculous. It was giant cougars that killed him.” That’s my CIA handler. The one who’s supposed to be keeping a cool head in the midst of anarchy. The one I’m relying on to help me with my mission, to stop the flow of poisonous cocaine out of Colombia that’s killing rappers and starlets. The record company hired me, you see.

White Gold is about as close to an open-world RPG as it is to an FPS. You level up, have an inventory to manage, and upgrade your equipment with brightly coloured boxes. You have standings with each faction, which raise and lower depending on how many of their opposition you kill. In theory, that’s how it all works.

The problem is, after the first hour or two, things start to go wrong. Not as part of the narrative, or through any sort of intended design. This is from the makers of Boiling Point, one of the most notoriously buggy games ever released. Missions become broken, enemies attack you when they shouldn’t, and occasionally cars fall out of the sky and explode.

White Gold doesn’t spend a good deal of time explaining itself. It’s a sandbox game in the most rudimentary sense of the word. Developers Deep Shadows put you in a world with the loosest, most nonsensical plot they can think up, and allow you to just to play around with it. You can work for guerrillas, the government, the mafia, or the hundreds of civilians who have their own little problems for you to solve, which usually involve the application of bullet to skull.

You stop a suicide by killing the suicidee’s wife’s lover. You settle a dispute over cards by killing the winner to make the loser feel better. You buy an alien communication device off a mechanic, so a hobo can get it back. And then there are the giant spiders and zombies, who manage to remain absent for a good deal of the game, despite being alluded to constantly during conversations with the locals.

Gert lush
If the bugs were all of the latter variety, it might be a surreal romp through tropical islands. Sadly they’re far more of the former, getting especially impossible when you’re supposed to infiltrate an army base, only to find that the uniform won’t equip when you try to put it on, and the only way to complete the mission is to kill a few hundred soldiers.

It’s heartbreaking. An impressive game that falls short on so many levels, only because it tries to reach so far. Factions, economy, side quests, a huge, lush world and even semi-destructible buildings, all make it seem like it could be a truly brilliant game, but the further you get from the (mostly) workable start, the more and more apparent it becomes that the game is broken.
Disclaimer: All information on this blog has been compiled from their respective official websites or through public domain sites and leading newspapers. Although, we have taken reasonable efforts to provide you with accurate information, but we assumes no responsibility for the accuracy (or inaccuracy) of the Information and would advise you to verify it from the official product provider. We cannot guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.