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Ubisoft has made it official that they are ditching the always-on model for DRM. In an always-on DRM scheme, a user must remain connected to the internet to play a game, something that isn't always feasible. It also has troubles when the central servers go down or are overloaded.
Thankfully, Ubisoft has decided to move away from both this DRM model and the limited activation model. Both of these are good moves for PC gamers and hopefully other companies will follow. The limited activation model creates issues for reviewers who have to reinstall the game many times, often across multiple generations of hardware.
Whenever you want to reach any online service, multiplayer, you will have to be connected, and obviously for online games you will also need to be online to play. But if you want to enjoy Assassin's Creed III single player, you will be able to do that without being connected. And you will be able to activate the game on as many machines as you want.
Furthermore, this type of DRM defeats the purpose of gaming on a PC. Probably the best reason for gaming on a computer is the ability to upgrade. However, if you have to reinstall a game and run out of activations, the benefit of being able to upgrade is completely gone. We might as well be gaming on consoles.
The studio that bought us the phenomenally successful Angry Birds, and the million and one spin offs of the franchise have just entered Bizarro world by announcing Bad Piggies.
Bad Piggies lets players take control of the once antagonists, the pigs. It is set to feature all new, never-before-seen gameplay, where no slingshots will be used whatsoever. Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio says:
There's a lot of empathy towards the lovable enemies from the Angry Birds games, and we've been constantly asked: what about the pigs' side of the story? Bad Piggies gives you the chance to play as the second-most-loved characters in the Angry Birds universe, and explore this rich world through their green eyes.
Bad Piggies launches on September 27 on iOS, Android and Mac platforms, with Windows Phone, Windows 8 and PC versions to follow shortly after.
The words Call of Duty and DirectX 11 feel so dirty next to each other, but developer Treyarch has confirmed that the upcoming Black Ops 2 will indeed support DX11.
Treyarch have said that they've updated the engine to include DirectX 11 support, and its associated bells and whistles. They've also said there'll be "more quality vs performance options than ever before". The news is followed by Windows XP support being dragged from under COD fans' feet.
Treyarch have said in a PC-specific FAQ:
Performance has been a top priority for Black Ops II PC from day one and we have achieved significant improvements. We've improved the way the engine handles multiple threads. Additionally, we moved the engine from DX9 to DX11. The DX11 API is leaner than DX9 and requires less CPU time to do the same amount of work. It is important to point out that this benefits the entire range of supported GPUs, not just DX11 hardware. We have also added more "quality vs performance" options than ever before so you can customize your experience to either run faster or to satisfy your taste in eye candy.
We've been hearing about next-gen consoles more and more in the last few months, but before that they were simply rumors. Microsoft and Sony are not talking about next-gen consoles so that they don't cannibalise their current console sales, which is fair enough.
But, we have some new rumors to share with you courtesy of Semi Accurate. SA are reporting that Microsoft are having problems with the heart of the next-gen Xbox, its chip referred to as 'Oban'. It is reportedly being run through multiple fabs in high quantities, and this quantity is said to be much higher than what would normally be required for developer kits of the console.
Rumors, they keep the tech world interesting. The latest rumor to pop up concerns the upcoming Nintendo WiiU and its launch date and price. Just last week, rumors had placed the date as November 18 after a peripherals manufacturer let that date slip during a talk at GamesCon.
The new rumor places the release date as November 11. This date comes from an online listing provided by a company that provides US retail outlets, Amazon, Newegg and Blockbuster with their products. The listing shows three distinct SKUs arriving for launch day, priced at $249, $299, and $349 respectively.
Nintendo America is set to hold a press conference on September 13. At this press conference, it is hoped they will reveal the launch plans of the Nintendo WiiU, including pricing, launch day, and what games will be available at launch.
Fans of the gaming series The Sims 3 are about to get even more content to play. EA has released the latest expansion pack for The Sims 3, which includes all kinds of supernatural fun. Hence the name, The Sims 3 Supernatural. The most exciting feature of the new expansion pack is the ability to play as a werewolf, fairy, witch or vampire.
These characters can be further defined with the Create a Sim tool. "This expansion pack adds a new, magical dimension to The Sims experience, opening up a world of storytelling possibilities," said Kari St. John, Senior Producer at The Sims Studio of EA. "We're excited to put creative tools in the hands of our players, giving them the ability to tell contemporary stories inspired by this supernatural theme."
The updates go further than just graphics. Vampires will be able to entice other Sims to join the undead, witches will be able to have duels and fly around on broomsticks, werewolves will be able to change form, and fairies can play pranks. Awesome. One last cool change is that players will be able to change the lunar cycle and this will have implications across all of the Sims.
Let's face it, we have an incredibly exciting time ahead of us for gaming. First off, we have some absolutely stellar games still coming out on the now ageing consoles, as well as the PC. But, within the next twelve or so months, we should see the release of next-gen consoles, and within the next couple of months, we'll see the release of Nintendo's Wii U console.
Until then, let's go through a list of the most anticipated games coming out over the next year or so. Remember, everyone has different tastes, so you might not agree to our recommendations. Please do comment or e-mail us with submissions and we'll try to keep this updated, or use them in future "top 10" articles.
10.) Far Cry 3
The first Far Cry game I remember fondly, open-world gaming, with lucious environments. But, the third outing in the Far Cry universe is set to really ramp that bar up somewhat, and there's some incredible excitement behind it. The main objective behind Far Cry 3 is to escape an island filled with crazy, blood-thirsty inhabitants.
Far Cry 3 also features co-op gameplay, marking a change from its predecessors. This co-op gameplay can even be enjoyed as two-player split screen. Far Cry 3 is powered by the Dunia 2 engine, one of the first games to be powered by the advanced version of the Dunia engine. We should expect Far Cry 3 toward the end of November, or early-December, depending where you're based.
If you're a Resident Evil fan, you might want to book a ticket to Poland, as Resident Evil 6 is available on gaming shelves in the country. More specifically, the city of Poznan, Poland, where a local retailer has the PlayStation 3 version up for sale.
NeoGo was lucky enough to pick up a German-branded copy of the game, more than a month ahead of its official street date of October 2. Rafal Baranowski or NeoGo told Joystiq:
I was shocked when I heard the store offers it and rushed to check it out. I will play deeper into the game over the weekend, but please note that we do not plan to make tons of videos. ... Capcom would kill us.
I can imagine the teasing on forums right now "I have RE6. U JELLY BRAH?!"
We've been hearing a lot about next-gen consoles recently, which means we should start seeing much more about them in the near future, and that's a good thing. President of EA labels, Frank Gibeau, is confident of the next-generation of consoles.
Gibeau admits that EA stumbled with the current generation of consoles, but is confident that they have what it takes to transition over to the next-generation. EA will push through "a big investment" this year, which will go into technologies that will be baked into the next series of consoles, with EA saying that they have a few new IPs that they're working on.
Gibeau told Bloomberg "we've already started three-to-five new intellectual properties that we're going to launch in that first 24 months on the new-gen". The Presidents label admits that while technology is a big part of that, the process begins with the game and building out from there, adding:
What I think what you have to first do is start with the technology and the hardware that is coming out - what it does really, really well - and understand what's gonna drive innovation there. You start from the game out and you build enough games and enough diversity in your brands to come out with a really strong portfolio that you can sustain for multiple years.
If you're a fan of the Assassin's Creed series but felt the multiplayer wasn't quite good enough, then you are in for a treat. Ubisoft has been hard at work on the multiplayer side of things for the upcoming Assassin's Creed 3 and the result is that players will receive monthly updates to the content in the form of files and videos.
The team behind the multiplayer aspect have been given the right to develop some of the story line and this is sure to affect the lore. You see, Abstergo has turned the Animus into a commercial product that allows people to relive "the past in HD." You play as a customer looking forward to doing just that.
"As you progress in the game and level up your character, you access these files and videos. Every month you'll have new challenges to unlock new content that will continue the storyline throughout the year," Ubisoft Annecy game director Damien Kieken told CVG.
Furthermore, the multiplayer environment will have more of an effect on battles. They will feature dynamic weather, which can severely cut down on visibility, and bottles and axes and such that can be used to get special environment kills. It also features two new game modes to keep things fresh: Domination and Wolfpack.