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News Headlines For Wednesday 29th March 2000

Mechwarrior 4

Bethesda Softworks has sent some screenshots on to GA Source. The shots are from there work in progress RPG called The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind. While I am not much of an RPG fan, I might just give this one a go because the graphics are so damn cool.

The ever hardworking gang at Gamespot has done up a preview of Microsoft's upcoming addition to their Mechwarrior series, Mechwarrior 4. Judging by the screenshots, Mechwarrior will feature some very cool 3D graphics. Gamespot also had a talk with TJ (no not Hooker) Wagner, who is the lead designer on Mechwarrior 4. The game is set for release in December.

GameSpot: Even in the game's pre-alpha stage, the graphics look impressive. Does MechWarrior 4 use an enhanced version of the MechWarrior 3 engine or an all-new one built from the ground up?

TJ Wagner: MechWarrior 4 uses a unique engine based on libraries from when we programmed the BattleTech Tesla 4.0 system pods (we call it MUNGA). We've created a new particle-generator effects tool, a natural-terrain generation system, a custom animation-blending system, a custom renderer, and tons more to bring you BattleMechs in all their 80-ton glory. Explosion and weapon effects will be brilliantly detailed. You'll see rolling realistic terrains with fluid Mech animations to match.

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News Headlines For Thursday 30th March 2000

Black & White

Up today on EuroGamer is our big preview of Arcatera, an impressive looking 3D role-playing / adventure game hybrid from German developers Westka Entertainment.

"What really makes the game stand out from the crowd is that the storyline is refreshingly non-linear, with ten seperate endings possible, only a handful of which are happy. Add to this the possibility of different starting conditions each time you play the game, and a variety of ways to solve many of
the puzzles, and it should make for plenty of replay potential."

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PC IGN spoke to Peter Molyneux at GDC 2000. Peter Molyneux is one of the guys who are working on the upcoming game Black & White, where you get the chance to play god.

IGNPC: There is a lot more animation than we've seen in the past...

PM: Yes, there's an awful lot more animation. Because he is much bigger, he is gets more hurt by things. His face is much more expressive than before, and this applies to all the creatures that you have.

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News Headlines For Monday 27th March 2000

Gaming Globe Awards

The movie industry has the Oscars, the music industry has the GRAMMYs, and now the gaming industry has the Gaming Globes! EuroGamer's inaugural Gaming Globe awards were launched today, and cover fifteen different categories, from sound and visual effects to
storyline and overall game design.  Each category has five nominees, and now you can vote on which ones get the gongs!

   Nominees include Quake 3 Arena, Unreal Tournament, Planescape Torment, Final Fantasy VIII, Outcast, Homeworld, Freespace 2, and Age of Empires II.

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News Headlines For Sunday 26th March 2000

Theocrazy

Massive Entertainment is curently working on a new 3D RTS called Ground Control. The game is set for release in Q2 2000 and will be published by Sierra Studios. Gamespot has written up a nice preview of Ground Control.

Ever since the phenomenal success of Command & Conquer and Warcraft, we've seen a virtually unchecked stream of real-time strategy games, each aiming to provide that little extra quality that would help elevate it above its competition. All too often, though, RTS developers have simply created more of the same rather than trying to bring true innovations to the table. More races, more weapons, more units, more technology types, and more buildings might add up to great fun for some gamers, but for commanders whose greatest interest is diving into combat, overseeing the tasks of production, research, and resource management frequently winds up being a tedious chore. Even more frustrating for would-be generals is the fact that success in many RTS games isn't dependent on tactical expertise but instead on how quickly units can be pumped out of production facilities.

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GA Strategy has a First Look at Rouge Wars from developer ReAllis. Rogue Wars is a RenderWare-powered first-person arena combat shooter that combines elements of turn-based strategy, as you fight for control of the Solar System.

The Terran-Brim War is over. Billions are dead. The home worlds of both species lie in utter ruins. Your people have one last hope to avoid total extinction: The planet-altering power of the Transcendental Terraformer. You command a Terran ship armed with robotic ROGUES (Remotely Operated Gladiators for Ultimate Expansion).

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EuroGamer has done a review of Theocracy, an excellent strategy game set in medieval Mexico which gives you the chance to rewrite history by uniting the Aztecs, and creating an empire which is capable of driving the Spanish invaders back into the Atlantic Ocean.

"The main part of the game is The Prophecy, which gives you the whole of Mexico as your playing field, and an open-ended campaign that can last for well over a century!"

   "The map of Mexico is split into over forty seperate territories, a little like the classic board game Risk. You start the game with just a single province, a small army, and a few dozen untrained workers to serve you, but from here on in you can essentially do whatever you want..."

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News Headlines For Wednesday 22nd March 2000

Internet News

3DRacing had a chance to interview Jay Panek, the producer for Midtown Madness 2.

3DRacing.net: What changes have been made to the graphics engine for Midtown Madness 2? Any new special effects or details that you are especially proud of?

Jay Panek: The graphics engine has been reworked to allow support for DirectX 7 Transform-and-Light hardware. We've also changed over to a heavily compressed internal graphics and physical representation of the city, which allows us to store more data in less space, which frees up more memory for better performance.

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Up today on EuroGamer is a "first look" preview of Deep Fighter, an underwater action-strategy game and the follow-up to SubCulture. The preview includes three shots of the game in action.

"As well as taking on your enemies head to head in a range of different submarines, you will also be able to take control of your city's defensive turrets, help repair buildings and installations, and control remote drones and other submarines to aid you in a series of missions."

   "You can even "herd great schools of fish" apparently, though you will need to watch out as not all of the creatures who share the oceans with you are so benign - your enemies include giant armoured nautiluses and tentacled jellyfish..."

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News Headlines For Tuesday 21st March 2000

Internet News

Microsoft has announced a new game and competition which is available from their MSN Gaming Zone. The game, Tacoma 4x4 Adrenaline Challenge, is played in your web-browser and requires a small download to play. Microsoft is also giving out prizes in tournaments in Tacoma.

How would you like to drive away with some out-of-this-world prizes? If you enjoy getting an adrenaline rush racing the Toyota Tacoma, then you'll REALLY get a rush when you win one of our many prizes!

It's simple. Start the Tacoma Adrenaline game, select Championships and you'll soon find yourself racing competitively against the computer. At the end of the round if you're happy with your score, enter your Zone Name and password, and click Submit. This ranks and posts your score with the other racers and it also enters you into the Tacoma Adrenaline Tournament.

Individual tournaments will be held on certain days, and various prizes will be awarded to winners of each tournament. What kinds of prizes? How would you like a Perception Eclipse Kayak, or a Kokatat Gore-Tex Front-Entry Drysuit, or an Arc'Teryx Bora 95 - Pack or a Novara Bonanza AL 2000 Bike? Just to name a few.

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Swedish developers Massive Entertainment was kind enough to send a pair
of exclusive new screenshots of their 3D real time strategy game, Ground Control to the boys at Eurogamer.

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Strike Force is a new upcoming total conversion for Unreal Tournament. This conversion will offer new maps and new weapons like the ever popular H&K MP5 and the AK47 (favorite terrorists weapon). Although there will be a free beta, the final version will be a commercial release. No doubt this is aimed at the Counter-Strike fans. Gamespot posted some new shots from the conversion, which are looking very sweet.

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News Headlines For Sunday 19th March 2000

Internet News

And now for something completely different...  It's got no 3D acceleration, no tri-linearly filtered environmental bump-mapping, and the only killing you do is of the "making a" variety. Yes, it's .. Wall Street Tycoon, a stock market sim featuring both single player missions and a massively multiplayer component that lets players compete over the internet, using real up-to-the-minute share prices from around the world. Check EuroGamer's preview for the full scoop

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Matt Buris at 3DGPU has done up an interview with Chris Holden who is an artist at game developer company, 4D Rulers. Here's a snippet.

As a texture artist, can you say if Gore will be supporting pain skins? If so, how many?

Gore will have damage that shows on characters, but it will be something with more control than a pain skin. Pain skins are great, but they do not show locational damage with the accuracy that we want to see.

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News Headlines For Saturday 18th March 2000

Internet News

Gamefan put an article about the newly announced Star Wars Online RPG. They speculate about the possibilities of such a game and more.

The big question on everyone’s mind is, can they pull it off? I mean, EverQuest is an amazing game, but it’s only one fantasy world. In Star Wars Online, players expect much more. They want to own ships, travel to new systems and play the roles of their favorite stars from the movies. Ever dream of joining the Imperial Navy and serve aboard a Star Destroyer? How about living the life of a bounty hunter, donning a full suit of Mandelorian (think Boba Fett) combat armor and scouring the galaxy for the New Republic’s most wanted? Or even becoming a master of The Force in an eternal battle of good versus evil?

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Have you seen any or all of those great demos, that Microsoft used to show of their X-BOX at GDC? They where very impressive. The demos where made by a company called Pipeworks Software. GA Sorce had the chance to interview Phil Cowles, Director of Business Development for Pipeworks Software.

What's it like working with Microsoft?

It has been fantastic. As far as the demos, the design concept directions were cleared with MS. MS set us free to create and develop until the projects were almost done. Their only requirement was to make truly unique demos that showed the power of the X-Box.

At the end of the projects, MS came back with specific requests for changes they wanted. For example, 4 days prior to GDC they requested the butterfly numbers to be doubled to maximize the effect. It was an incredible opportunity to see how we could push the envelope on the X-Box hardware.

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Daily Radar has taken a look at some of Imperial units from LucasArts' upcoming game, Star Wars Force Commander. They got some nice animations to go along with each unit.

Speeder Bike
Similar to the Rebel swoop, the speeder bike differs in that it can carry two Stormtroopers instead of just one and it offers some offensive capability. Much like the Rebel swoop, riders on a speeder bike must dismount before attacking with their rifles. They don't quite have the speed of the swoop, but the addition of the front-mounted laser can make it a devastating anti-infantry unit, especially when used in groups.

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News Headlines For Thursday 16th March 2000

Internet News

LucasArts, Verant and Sony Online Entertainment has ventured together on an upcoming massively multiplayer online RPG. Here's a snippet from the press release.

LucasArts Entertainment Company LLC announced today it will partner with Verant Interactive Inc. and Sony Online Entertainment to create the first massively multiplayer Star Wars online role-playing game. Expected to release in 2001, the title will immerse thousands of game players into the classic Star Wars universe. Gameplay will feature a unique combination of combat, specialized missions, and daring quests.

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Up today on EuroGamer is our review of "Tzar: Burden Of The Crown", a real time strategy game that borrows rather heavily from Age of Empires, but with more of a fantasy slant...

Infinite Loop seem to have set out to clone Age of Empires II, but
failed miserably somewhere along the line. The units and buildings on offer are eerily similar, but lacking the wider variety and meticulous play balancing that made Age of Empires II so much fun.

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The guys at Gamespot has taken a look at Crimson Skies, an upcoming flight combat-sim from Microsoft. The is set in a different reality, witch means that everything is a little "twisted".

The Untied State of America
The Crimson Skies universe starts with the historical events that occurred in the US in the 1920s and suggests a few fascinating and reasonably plausible "what if?" changes. What if, the Crimson Skies universe asks, the push for Prohibition had become a virulent fight over state vs. federal power and had failed, resulting in a weakened union and a heightened spirit of regionalism? What if some states then became "Prohibition states," outlawing alcohol, closing their borders to stop alcohol trafficking, and getting into squabbles with neighboring non-Prohibition states? What if the flu epidemic of 1918 has returned in 1927 in a nastier form, and the resulting plague mentality had bolstered the spirit of isolationism? Finally, what if the stock market didn't crash in 1929?

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News Headlines For Monday 13th March 2000

Internet News

Gamespot updated their Warcraft III preview with info on some changes made since their last preview.

All games undergo significant changes during their development cycle. So it's no surprise that some of the features we talked about in our first preview of Warcraft III late last year have changed. After we talked to Rob Pardo, lead designer of Warcraft III, a few days ago, we learned that the game would continue to have many role-playing elements, such as heroes, interactive environments, a seamless world, story-driven gameplay, quests, and experience for heroes. However, a change in direction now lets Blizzard add more strategy elements that were absent in the original design, such as scrolling, free-form building, and possibly even expansion-building, and a more elaborate resource model.

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Apparently the boys & girls at Ion Storm had some spare time to work on their Daikatana website recently. They gave it a complete makeover, including new shots and info about the game.

Welcome to the newly redesigned Daikatana.com. With Daikatana set to hit shelves in the next few weeks, we've reworked the menu to include sections for add on maps, multiplayer mode descriptions and more. Check back here often for all the latest information, as well as a soon to be released Daikatana trailer. We're always interested in what you'd like to see here, so feel free to contact us at web@ionstorm.com, and give us your thoughts.

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GA Source has scored some new shots from Strategy First's upcoming 3D space strategy game, O.R.B. (Off world Resource Base). They even got a nice little description for every shot.

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News Headlines For Thursday 9th March 2000

Internet News

Smirnoff over at ModGamer sends word that they put up an interview with Gooseman, Project leader of the HL: Counter-Strike mod. What's that got to do with Wham (yes the pop group)? Well you'll just have to read the interview to find out.

Pyro : What other mods/software have you written previous to Counterstrike?

ML : I was involved with AQ2 and Navy SEALS Quake1

Pyro : What tips would you give to anyone planning on writing a mod?

ML : I believe in releasing playable versions as early as possible to get a feel for what needs to be changed. That's why I released BETA versions every so often.

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GA Source got 4 new screenshots up from LucasArts' upcoming 3D RTS, Force Commander. The game has gone gold and is expected out in the U.S. and Canada around March 20th.

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Starlancer is a new space-battle game which is being developed by Warthog/Digital Anvil, and published by Microsoft. The game is said to bee a lot like Wingcommander.

Starlancer begins with an epic FMV sequence that sets the scene of Solar System war, between colonists who for some reason still hold on to their Earth-bound countries of origin. It's the Russians, under the sinister moniker of the "Eastern Coalition", versus the rest of the world, who are naturally allied together under the "Western Alliance". Its funny to imagine the entire remainder of the world being happy to consider themselves "Western". So it's hamburgers for everyone, shut up and eat it, in the Western Alliance Navy. The Coalition was on the verge of signing a peace treaty, before suddenly launching multiple surprise attacks on populated planets and space stations, killing millions and debastabilising the foundation of the Alliance military machine. A call is sent out to civillians to volunteer for service as pilots… which is where you come in. Naturally, you will surpass all expectations and rise through the ranks, shaming the aces and taking down entire squadrons single-handedly.

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News Headlines For Wednesday 8th March 2000

Internet News

Game-Over.net has posted a review of Westwood's recently released add-on for Tiberian Sun, Firestorm. This add-on adds new units, maps and more. Here's a peek at the new units added.

Nod units:

  • Mobile Stealth Generator - The name says it all
  • Fist of Nod - Mobile Weapons Factory with Stealth
  • Cyborg Reaper (Multiplayer ONLY) - Equipped with 2 rocket launchers and a web sprayer that will trap infantry hopelessly
  • Limpet Drone - Goes in to stealth, attaches to enemy units and allows you to spy on them

    GDI had new recruiters and technology upgrades as well. New to the force are:

  •  
  • Mobile War Factory - Name says it all
  • Mobile EMP - Must I go on?
  • Juggernaut - Kind of like Nod's Artillery but less distance, but it makes up for it with its triple cannon.
  • Drop Pod - Infantry paratroopers
  • Limpet Drone - Same as Nod's

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Paul Jordan has released his new Quake 3 Camera. With this baby you can view Quake 3 matches or demos in cool third person views. He also got some screenshots up, wich shows Quake 3 Camera in action. Download it Quake 3 Camera.

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GA Source has posted 12 new screenshots from Activision's upcoming Star Trek online RPG, Conquest Online. The game is to be turn based.

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News Headlines For Tuesday 7th March 2000

Internet News

Creature Labs has announced a new upcoming game called Beasts. The game is based on the legend of the Abominable Snowman or Yeti.

"Beasts" boasts breathtaking 3D environments inhabited by Yeti - truly individual creatures who think and act for themselves thanks to the company's innovative technology. "Beasts" will be the company's first fully 3D title and is provisionally scheduled for release in Q2 2001.

Says Howard Newmark, Creature Labs' Publishing Director, "Beasts is going to be a major release both for artificial intelligence computer gaming and real time strategy games."

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It seems that Codemasters USA is having financial troubles. They  have announced that development of all stand-alone games have been cancelled, including Navy SEALs and Babylon 5. Also Codemasters are cutting their staff by around 20 employees.

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News Headlines For Monday 6th March 2000

Internet News

Gamespot has done up a review of Cavedog's latest add-on for Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, subtitled The Iron Plague. They seem to think it's money well spent.

You get quite a bit for the game's $20 price tag: You get the 2.0 game-engine upgrade patch for Kingdoms itself, along with all the new units and battle maps that Cavedog made available for Kingdoms on its site since the game was released. You also get a brand-new fifth civilization to play, which brings with it all the units, strategies, and challenges of having an entirely new playable faction in the game.

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Firingsquad has written up their coverage of Microsoft's recently held Gamestock 2000. They take a look at upcoming games like Motocross Madness 2, Midtown Madness 2 and Loose Cannon.

As promised, we have full coverage of last week's Gamestock event at Microsoft. Every game in their 2000 lineup is covered in this article, along with their 3 new hardware pieces - a new RTS controller, the second generation force feedback joystick, and a voice over net hardware/software package that should work great for those of you in clans and who compete over the net competitively. Microsoft's 2000 lineup of games is very strong across the board - everything from action RPG to flight simulator, to action, to RTS, to sports and space combat. MS is clearly a major player in the game publishing market now.

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SimHQ has posted 40+ new screenshots from Red Storm's upcoming Urban Operations mission pack for Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear. These shots show some multiplayer action.

We've had pretty good response to the first batch of shots we posted, so by popular demand, here are some new ones, this time focusing on the multiplayer maps, which can be played in single player mode as well...we like playing Terrorist Hunt games on the multiplayer maps a lot!  We've also included some shots from the newly-redone original Rainbow Six stealth missions.

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News Headlines For Saturday 4nd March 2000

Internet News

GA Source has got the low-down on an upcoming RPG from Mythic Entertainment (Spellbinder). Entitled Dark Age of Camelot, this massively multiplayer RPG is set for release in Q1 2001.

Engine Details

We are using some of Spellbinder's code base as the basis for Camelot's 3D engine and client/server model. The engine is extremely flexible - objects will be able to be created on-the-fly during gameplay, allowing GMs to create vendors and special objects without requiring a patch. Weather effects will be built-in to the engine, and we will be able to add zones (and enhance existing ones) with just a patch.

-Matt Firor, Producer

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Incite Games has posted a new video promoting the upcoming 3D RTS Ground Control from Massive. The video is available in Mpeg's of 3MB and 8MB. Also AGN3D converted the Mpeg's into to smaller (1.5MB) versions.

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News Headlines For Thursday 2nd March 2000

Internet News

Evil Avatar has posted some new screenshots from Microsoft's upcoming Combat Flight Simulator 2. The game is definitely looking very sweet.

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We have probably all seen the movie Starship Troopers. Some liked it, and others didn't. Well Micropose liked it enough to make a game about it. Gamespot scored some info about the game along with 15 screenshots.

MicroProse's new Starship Troopers takes place a few years after the events that unfold in the movie of the same name. Encased in a suit of powered battle armour, players will drop into a hot location and be required to accomplish certain mission goals before being evacuated back to the mother ship. Better still, the missions and mission objectives are generated by a dynamic mission generator that moulds itself to player's individual level of skill and their specific play style. As the player progresses through the game, they will be honoured with various awards and promotions that will eventually give them command of a group of troops. Expected sometime in the winter of 1998 but due for release in April 2000, Starship Troopers will also feature a multiplayer capability that will enable up to 25 players to compete or cooperate in huge battles.

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More screenshots today. Commandos from Pyro really kicked some serious but. Now Pyro is working on a sequel called Commandos 2 (you would never have guessed right?). While over at Gamespot i noticed that they have some new screenshots from the upcoming sequel. Let me just say it know. The graphics are looking extremely gorgeous.

Pyro's handful of exceptional men are set to wreak even more havoc among Axis forces in Commandos 2, the sequel to real-time strategy hit Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines. The squad has 12 single-player missions lined up across Europe, Asia, the Pacific and even China, and two new members to help achieve its goals. There's even a mission set in an authentically detailedversion of prisoner-of-war camp Colditz, which should prove a real test of ingenuity for the unfortunate commandos imprisoned there. The Bridge over the River Kwai beckons too, for veteran players who can do more than whistle Colonel Bogey...

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News Headlines For Wednesday 1st March 2000

Internet News

Most RPG fans probably know or at least heard about Fallout. The three designers who worked on Fallout 1 and 2 started their own company called Troika. They are currently working on a new RPG called Arcanum. Gamespot has done up a preview of it.

Dwarves With Guns
For their first project, Troika wanted to move away from Fallout's futuristic setting and create a classic fantasy RPG instead. But, just as the designers did with Fallout, they've added a twist: It's a fantasy world that's gone through an industrial revolution. Thus, though you'll still see all of your favorite Tolkienesque characters - gnomes, elves, ogres, halflings, and so on - you'll now have industrial-age weapons and machinery along with your arrows and spells. Now, dragons must share airspace with World War I-style zeppelins.

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Eurogamer has taken a look at Gunlok, an upcoming action RPG from British developer Rebellion. They also have some comments from Jason Kingsley, co-founder of Rebellion.

Gunlok is a futuristic action RPG, set in a world ravaged by
war and ruled by cyborgs, its resources plundered by massive
corporations and the only hope for the future a small group of
sentient robots...

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Read more of the past months news in our News Archive for January and February News.

Do you have any Windows based news? Just Remember To Get In Touch!

 

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