Daily updates on video games and popular culture, along with Australia’s grooviest gaming podcast.

Bleszinski back with BlueStreak

Posted by Karen Jacobson On Thursday 10 July 2014No Comments

Some early concept art.

You heard it right, people. Cliff Bleszinski, Epic Games’ former design director has popped his head up in the gaming world again. Bleszinski has a new studio, Bosskey Productions. Through his twitter feed, he recently announced Bosskey’s first project, a free-to-play science fiction shooter for PC, with the working title of BlueStreak.

After leaving Epic Games in October of 2012, ending a 20-year stint with the studio, Bleszinski took a long break from the industry. He is known for his work on Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal Tournament and of course, the action packed Gears of War franchise. It’s of little surprise that BlueStreak sees Bleszinski head back to the shooter action realm yet again.

Known for his colourful descriptions of his own titles, Bleszinski is already back to his quotable best. After various tweets announcing his new studio and game, he thought he should write a heartfelt message:  “Thanks to everyone who has been supportive! Those who have been mean, you should feel bad and go home and step on a nail.” Yep, that’s the Cliff Bleszinski we remember.

Lifeless Planet Review

Posted by Joel Guttenberg On Wednesday 9 July 2014No Comments

Available on PC l Published by KISS Ltd l Developed by Stage 2 Studios l Unclassified l Supports 1 player

REVIEW IN BRIEF > Lifeless Planet invites players to visit a stark and mysterious world. In theory, danger lurks around ever corner, but players will have to traverse large portions of a mostly empty (though still striking) landscape in order to engage in some tricky platforming and simple puzzle solving. Some intriguing ideas and story elements propel the adventure, but some players may find their patience stretched. Read the rest of this entry »

Pardo exits Blizzard

Posted by Karen Jacobson On Tuesday 8 July 2014No Comments

The sun sets on Pardo’s tenure at Blizzard.

In an impassioned message on the Battle.net forums, Rob Pardo, Chief Creative Officer with Blizzard Entertainment, has announced that he is leaving after 17 years.

Probably best known as a Lead Designer on the company’s long running World of Warcraft MMO, Pardo has also made significant contributions to the long running StarCraft and Diablo franchises.

Pardo spoke about the admiration he has had for Blizzard, even before joining the team, describing it as “simply the best place in the world to be a game designer”.

Pardo has given no indication as to the reasons for his departure or what he plans to do next. The lure of a new, yet to be formally announced, MMO was seemingly not enough to keep him at Blizzard.

Could the gradually fading popularity of World of Warcraft have been a factor in his decision? Regardless, it will be interesting to discover Pardo’s future gaming venture.

End of the road for Age of Empires Online

Posted by Erin Marcon On Monday 7 July 2014No Comments

A few final stats from the creators of the game.

Another of Microsoft’s many attempts to revive its PC gaming fortunes has reached the end of the road. Age of Empires Online, the company’s free-to-play (but far from free) strategy revival, was last week retired with little fanfare. With no new content being produced for the game over the last 18 months, this decision will hardly come as a surprise to fans of the game.

While Age of Empires Online showed some promise, many were never entirely convinced of its merits, particularly with regard to its pricing structure. In his 2011 review for The Black Panel, a shocked Matt Hewson lamented the MMO-style grinding associated with the game, which was presumably designed to nudge players towards paid content. At that stage, players were expected to shell out up to $250 a year to access everything the game had to offer.

Development duties for Age of Empires Online passed from Robot Entertainment (Orcs Must Die) to Gas Powered Games (Dungeon Siege) shortly before the release of the game.