Splash Damage, the maker of Dirty Bomb and Gears of War 4's multiplayer, has an unlikely new owner: a Chinese chicken meat supplier called Leyou.
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Splash Damage boss Paul Wedgwood reckons publishers using Metacritic review score averages to pressure developers and even hold back bonuses for negative outcomes is "ridiculous".
It's that time again. Eurogamer's ongoing coverage of the latest developments in cross-platform gaming continues apace, as five brand new releases are put to the sword. The aim here is simple: to supplement existing review coverage with additional commentary based on any technical and gameplay differences we might happen to find. An exhaustive range of HD screenshots supplement the piece, derived from HD video of each game. Where 1080p is supported (either natively or via scaling), additional galleries are included - so that'll be just one this time, in the form of LEGO Indiana Jones.
As readers of the epoch-making Grand Theft Auto IV Ultra Face-Off will know, we've recently added video to our comparison analyses; the difference being that it's video that actually works, based on an ultra-quality workflow. Each game is captured at lossless 24-bit precision from the HDMI ports of the respective consoles using the now obligatory Digital Foundry TrueHD capture kit, ensuring that literally every piece of video information sent from the source at our mercy, to do with as we will.
From there, we're free to extract shots from the streams and create videos (maintaining the lossless workflow) before exporting them to ultra-high quality h.264, nicely streamable courtesy of Eurogamer TV. The action is slowed down to 50 or 25 percent for two reasons. Firstly, slower movement allows for precision video playback. Secondly, it's the only way to make sure that the entire 60fps stream is viewable. Plus of course, actually seeing the differences is a hell of a lot easier.
The European PlayStation Store has been updated with some more things.
Microsoft has furnished Live Marketplace with a new demo for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
Has a console conversion of a PC game ever ended up better than the source material? With so many compromises made in the graphics department, and various control, interface and gameplay tweaks for developers to take into account, you're onto a loser from the start, and sofa-bound gamers are often left with little more than an approximation of the original vision. Sadly that's more or less what we're dealing with here. Knowing full well the limitations it faced on the technical side, Nerve Software - developer of our Xbox 360 review copy - at least invested a fair amount of effort to make Enemy Territory: Quake Wars more approachable. The main failing is that Quake Wars simply doesn't have enough spark in the gameplay department to compete with the riches that have befallen the shooter genre in recent times.
The game's premise is a familiar one: it's a team-based, eight-on-eight, objective-orientated first-person shooter. Set over 12 medium-sized maps, you can choose to play either as the human GDI forces, or plump for those bio-mechanical, chain-smoking Barry White fans, the Strogg. Set against the clock (usually 20 minutes), one team is on the offensive, while the other seeks to thwart the three or four of their opponents' objectives. This usually involves trying to blow something up, hacking a piece of equipment, and maybe taking a data disk somewhere else to upload it to a lucky fellow elsewhere in the Quake universe. You win if you can achieve your objectives within the time limit, or, conversely, prevent your opponents doing their ugly deeds.
To add to the fun, each side has five classes of unit, and you can choose to respawn at any time as a soldier, medic, covert ops, engineer or field ops (the specific units on each side are given slightly different names, but essentially they fulfill the same roles). A slick interface makes it a simple process to see which unit can complete the current objective - by hitting 'back' on the pad, you can cycle through the five unit types, and a green tick indicates whether that particular unit is capable of doing the job, as well as letting you know how many of that specific unit are currently on the battlefield. With a couple of button presses, you're able to parachute back into the action at the spawn-point of your choice and get going.
Retail sources close to Eurogamer have confirmed that the console versions of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will be out on 30th May, despite Activision declining to comment.
Activision plans to release playable demos of team-based multiplayer FPS Enemy Territory: Quake Wars for both PS3 and 360.
The traditional image of the FPS player as a PC gamer with keyboard and mouse doesn't necessarily hold true any more, according to id Software's director of business development, Steve Nix, who told Eurogamer this week that he believes many hardcore PC FPS players are now getting their jollies on consoles.
"Quake Wars sets out to provide a totally different experience, and does so very well - with a set of well-designed, expansive levels and great vehicles being the stand-out factors." That's what some handsome fool wrote about Enemy Territory: Quake Wars on PC back in September. We liked most of it, but the combat lacked the punchiness we'd hoped for in a Quake game, and we weren't fond of the steep climb up the learning curve.
Stop clowning around; it really is bastardly cold out there. Still, it's good for one thing: keeping my PC from overheating. All I have to do is wrap up warm and open my window, then pop in one of these festively fantastic frolics and laugh away merrily - probably with a vat of mulled wine close-by to ensure I am well and truly smashed. I'm only giving it serious consideration because there are some games worth seriously considering.
Splash Damage's 1.2 update for multiplayer PC first-person shooter Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is currently with publisher Activision's quality assurance folks and should be released within a few weeks.
That'd according to lead game designer Paul Wedgwood, writing on the game's community website, who explained exactly what to expect from the patch. You'd be better off reading his in-depth explanation if you're into the game, but in summary: full voice comms support, adjusted game balancing (weapons tweaks, etc), the ability to maintain Fireteams between rounds, UI improvements, bot fixes and improvements (to make them "more devious and enjoyable to play with") and various miscellaneous bug-fixes.
Wedgwood also says that he will update soon about the developer's separate plans to add further tournament support features, and concludes by adding that work has already begun on the 1.3 update, and that a Software Development Kit (SDK) is currently being polished up for public consumption. Exciting times!
It's a good week for those who enjoy taking care of Alien Scum. Unless you've been living under an especially soundproof rock, you can't fail to have noticed that the Master Chief has returned to Earth this week to splatter some Covenant types all over the ruins of East Africa - but it's not just Xbox 360 owners who will be finishing the fight this weekend.
There's alien killin' to be done on the PC as well, it seems - with another venerable franchise, Quake, bringing the fight back to Earth for a teamplay-focused rumble between the human forces and everyone's favourite biomechanical horrors, the Strogg.
We shouldn't really imply that there's much correlation between Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Halo 3, though. In fact, if anything, this pair ably demonstrates just how un-alike two FPS games that are essentially about space marines fighting space aliens can be - and yes, we're saying that without a hint of sarcasm. Honest guv.
Splash Damage has announced that the PC demo for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will be available to download this afternoon, from 6pm BST (UK time) onwards. Isn't that the evening? We're not sure.
Developer Splash Damage has confirmed that a demo for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will be available to download on Monday.
Splash Damage's Paul Wedgwood says there's no "definitive" plan as to whether we'll see a third beta of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars prior to its launch on 28th September - and a lot of it comes down to how much feedback you give them.
"I don't know," he told us when we asked during QuakeCon. "There's no definitive plans on what will happen or what won't."
"Ultimately betas depend on whether we can make the fixes that we need to in patches as opposed to full releases. With Beta 2, so much had changed that we couldn't really deal with it in a single patch, so that's what generated Beta 2."
When it comes to multiplayer FPS games, large-scale testing is proof - and where better to test the first proper from-the-ground-up teamplay multiplayer Quake FPS than QuakeCon, id Software's annual shindig in Dallas? That's certainly the view of id's cohorts Splash Damage, who not only brought the PC and 360 builds to the Con's vendor area, but also distributed Beta 2 among attendees on day one, ran a clan tournament on a range of new maps, and put on a series of advanced tactics seminars for budding fans. With all that in mind, we caught up with creative director Paul Wedgwood to talk about the new levels, the bots, the future - and John Carmack's potentially needling comments the night before when a keynote Q&A brought up the subject of animation and gameplay synchronicity...
Last night's QuakeCon press conference brought us the news that Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will launch in North America on 2nd October - but now we know we're getting it here a few days prior to that.
id Software finally unveiled its new game, Rage, and made a number of crowd-pleasing announcements during a densely packed QuakeCon press conference led by CEO Todd Hollenshead and the show's keynote address from John Carmack.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will be released across the US on 2nd October.
The second Public Beta release of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is now available for download following its debut at QuakeCon. Fileplanet's hosting the 768MB file and inviting people to sign up for keys. Up to 20,000 are available, and keys for the first release still work.
Beta 2 introduces a new map - Valley - as well as offline bot-matches, Punkbuster and LAN support and leaderboards. You can read much more about the individual changes, how Valley works and all that on developer Splash Damage's community blog, which also thanks everyone for feedback (positive and negative!) that, it says, has generated "significant improvements".
It's certainly proving popular at QuakeCon, with virtually everyone we've been talking to claiming they've downloaded it, even giving it preference over the games they brought with them. A tournament featuring a few well-practised clans competing on Valley and two other maps, Ark and Area 22, has also helped generate buzz.
Splash Damage's Paul Wedgwood says that Beta 2 of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will be released on the Internet "today or, if not, in the next couple of days" to coincide with QuakeCon in Dallas.
We'd caught up with Wedgwood on the floor of QuakeCon's vendor area, which a sort of mini games convention where PC hardware manufacturers and a few game developers are showing off their stuff to attendees and bombarding them with free T-shirts. We ended up with three and don't even remember taking them.
He said that Beta 2, which focuses on another of the game's 12 maps, Valley, ought to keep existing fans happy and address the concerns of those who took issue with Beta 1. "Basically everything anyone's been complaining about on forums, we've tried to deal with it," he told us.
British developer Splash Damage is working on a second version of the Enemy Territory: Quake War beta to show at the QuakeCon event in Texas this week. Tom's going, you know. He's really excited.
The news popped up on the official website, which expects the public to be able to get their hands on the new beta in the next couple of weeks.
Included in the revamped package is the new Valley map, which is larger than the original Sewer level and has plenty more vehicles to ride recklessly around on. The aim of the scenario is for the goodies, the GDF, to take out a Strogg contamination device polluting a harmless reservoir and probably killing otters in the process.
Splash Damage has revealed that PC shooter Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will use in-game advertising to help pay for the costs of the game after release, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting.
A public beta test for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is in the process of kicking off, with the first day of key distribution "currently scheduled for the middle of this week" according to the official community blog.
60,000 public beta keys will be made available in total - with half reserved for subscribers to FilePlanet, the website hosting the file, and half for people with free FilePlanet accounts. However Developer Splash Damage urges caution: "If you want to just play a game for free you may find it a frustrating experience," it says. "This Public Beta is not the Demo - it's not the finished game, but an opportunity to get feedback from a large group of people while testing stability and performance on a wider range of hardware combinations."
One of the virtues of a public beta from the devs' perspective is the opportunity to find out how well it runs on various combinations of hardware, upon which note: "The Public Beta will also collect some information on your hardware configuration, so you shouldn't apply unless you're comfortable with that." They also just want to "get a better idea of how the game plays for the general gaming public", so give them some feedback if you get involved.
Activision's recent financial report suggests Enemy Territory: Quake Wars will be with us by the end of summer.
Id Software's Todd Hollenshead has revealed that the Quake and Doom creator is working on a new gaming franchise, powered by a brand new engine from developer John Carmack, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting.
There's a war on. A fistful of beleaguered Global Defence Force infantry are huddling behind a crippled Mobile Command Post they need to deploy further down the road. The engineer they desperately need to get it moving again has taken a long distance railgun round to the chest and is lying incapacitated in the open a dozen yards away. The medic can't run out to help him because the radar his allies had flown in tells him a Strogg Constructor saw fit to call in an anti-personnel turret from orbit and deploy it just up ahead. Its eight automated plasma cannons would turn him into a smear before he'd got his defibrillators charged up.
Activision UK has announced details of the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars PC pre-order scheme.
From installing servers to leading the development of one of the most hotly anticipated games around, Paul Wedgwood's rise to power borders on the meteoric. After an adrenaline-fuelled day spent playtesting the latest build of Quake Wars and eating delicious sandwiches it became clear we were dealing with something special. The game, not the sandwiches. Although they were pretty special. We sat down with Paul ('Loki' to use his clan name) to pick his brain about how he's boldly lead his studio to what looks to be another success.
The war between the GDF and Strogg has spilled over into console territory, as Activision has announced Enemy Territory: Quake Wars for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Those of you dribbling at the chops in anticipation of Enemy Territory: Quake Wars may have to wait a little longer, as Activision's financial report reveals the release date has moved into fiscal year 2008.
Those slavering at the chops in anticipation of an autumn release for id's latest FPS are in for a bit of a disappointment, as developer Splash Damage reckons the game is unlikely to appear this side of Christmas.
It's official: QuakeCon 2006 will go ahead, despite earlier rumours of a cancellation - and yes, attendees will get the opportunity to play Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
According to a post on the QuakeCon website, this year's event will take place from August 3rd - 6th at the Hilton Anatole hotel, Dallas, Texas.
If you want to attend, you better get your skates on - "With about 1,800 BYOC spots, QuakeCon 2006 will be a bit more exclusive than it has been the last couple of years, but we hope people will enjoy the more personal touch this year," the post reads.
Held at the entirely unremarkable Marriott hotel in downtown LA, after being bribed with slightly stale pastries and fancy imported teas, we, the assembled throngs of the press were ushered into a surprisingly intimate meeting space for Activision's pre-E3 press conference. Opening with traditional bluster, Activision revelled in not only holding the status of No. 2 publisher in the US overall, but also scoring the No. 1 Xbox 360 title with Call of Duty 2, allowing it to segue nicely into announcing its next-generation line-up - the pride of place going to Call of Duty 3, in development for all three next generation systems. No further details were revealed about the title, though we know Treyarch, not Infinity Ward, is developing it, and neither does it appear that they feature at the show in playable form. Thankfully, Activision proved to be a lot less tight-lipped on the other major franchises that are a major part of their upcoming line-up - not least new Tony Hawk's titles Tony Hawk's Project 8 for PS3 and Xbox 360, and Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam on Nintendo Wii (and DS and GBA).
You might not be able to rocket-jump into helicopters, but Enemy Territory: Quake Wars is still looking like a mighty fine earth-versus-aliens alternative to Battlefield 2.
When you watch the Enemy Territory: Quake Wars trailer, it's easy to leap to conclusions about what the game's going to be. It's Battlefield in the Quake universe! It's getting railgunned in the face by twitch-killers as you stand next to a spawnpoint for a vehicle. It's people rocket-jumping into choppers and weirdo aliens going "hoooo-maaan!" as they pilot Chinooks into your base and capture a flag and then bunny-hop off into the sunset, unmolested by players who've driven their buggies into a ditch in the middle of nowhere and can't find their way back to where the action is.
id Software and developer Splash Damage have shed some light on the next instalment to their first-person shooter line-up, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.
The PC title will be powered by the DOOM III engine, but taking place across a number of varied environments, including outdoors, with potentially jungle and desert regions in the offering.
The combination of the game's setting (it takes place during the conflict between the Earth Defence Force and evil Strogg alien invaders) and use of its previously announced megatexture technology ("The whole planet's one big texture!"), will allow a variation of properties across its levels to change the way a player interacts with its environment. For example, sand creates problems for land vehicles but is quiet to walk on, while asphalt provides more noise but better traction.
A trailer for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Activision's new PC multiplayer shooter, is now available on Eurofiles.
It's 55MB and features nothing but in-game footage, we're promised. You can also find some screenshots of the game, which debuted at E3, here.
Enemy Territory lets you choose from five unique classes and fight for either the Earth Defense Force or the invading Strogg. There are more than 40 vehicles to play with, including quad-bikes, tanks and anti-gravity ships, and the graphics are said to offer an "unparalleled degree of realism". Gosh.
id Software has announced Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, a class-based PC multiplayer shooter that lets you choose whether to fight for Earth Defense Force or invading alien hordes, the Strogg.
There are five unique classes to choose from, and more than 40 vehicles to hoon around in - everything from quad-bikes and tanks to AT-AT style walkers and anti-gravity ships.
You can take on class-specific missions, or joint a fireteam to make use of advanced comms options such as voice-chat. The game selects missions for you on a context-sensitive basis, which is nice.