Crysis 2 Ultra Upgrade - Released

Crytek has released the 1.9 Patch and the Ultra Upgrade for their shooter Crysis 2.

First of all, the patch can be seen as requirement for the Ultra Upgrade, which features new graphic elements in the main part. The HDR motion blur will be improved, as well as the water rendering.
The High-Res-Texture-Pack is only available for DirectX 11, so DX10 or even DX9 user won't see these new graphics.


Battlefield 3 - The Squad System

The Squad System in Battlefield 3 will be different from the one in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. See below for the changes.

As said by Alan Kertz from DICE, the squad spawning has changed compared to Bad Company 2 though the basic four man squad system will stay the same.
In Bad Company 2 every squad member can spawn next to every other squad member being alive but in Battlefield 3, they can only respawn at their squad leader. The only exception from this feature is the leader himself who can spawn like in BC2, choosing from an current position of a squad member on the map and spawn there.

The system is made simpler to prevent an old problem from BC2. If one player could make in through enemy lines and would camp there, the whole squad could spawn there and stab the enemies in their backs.


Team Fortress 2 - For Free

Team Fortress 2 is free to play from now on, if you had already payed for it, you'll be a premium member and will get extra featues. On top, here is the "Meet the Medic" trailer:

Valve has announced a huge free update pack for Team Fortress 2. Beside weapons and clothes for the player, TF2 is from now on free to play, so Valve can conquer this market against games like Ghost Recon Online or Battlefield Free2Play. You can download the game via Steam.

If you have already paid for the game in the past, your account will be updraded to a premium one. So the veterans get several extra features like rare items or more space in your backpack for items you find. New player have to pay for these features, but there will be NO gameplay difference. Only because you have a lot of money invested, doesn't mean you have an advantage against new player.

The Uber Update contains:
Especially the Medic profits from this update with the new "Quick Fix", a medi-gun with 40% faster healing. If you activate "The Overdose", you'll be way faster than normal. The third new thing for the medic is "The Solemn Vow". With these the Medics can see the remaining hit points of their enemies.

In addition the DLC contains the new Payload map "PC-Barnblitz" and several gameplay tweaks and bugfixes.


Battlefield 3: PC-PS3 Comparison

A new video shows a direct comparison of the graphics of Battlefield 3 on the PC and Playstation 3. The PC version performs better.

Developer DICE said in the past that the PC would be lead platform for Battlefield 3, meaning the importance for the developer. After many rumours, this video shows the almost identical gameplay scenes and proofs thus the better graphics on the PC compared to the Playstation 3.

The first thing to mention is the different lighting in the game. Also the background, number of calculated enemies and level objects, or whole buildings differ completely. But this could only point at the different stages of development for the two versions.
Battlefield 3 will be released: Fall 2011.


Halo 4 uses Old Engine

Halo 4 will use the same engine as Halo 3 but with several improvements.

Microsoft announced at the end of their E3 press conference the new Halo 4, and that's not everything. With it a whole new Halo trilogy was announced, so a fifth and sixth sequel are for sure.  
Rumours say that Halo 4 is being developed for years now and will be released at christmas time 2012. Phil Spencer, vice president of the Microsoft Studios, talked in an interview with IGN about the new title and revealed that there would be no new engine included but the old Halo 3 engine with some improvements by 343 Industries. If you expected much better graphics, you could be disappointed. 

Phil told IGN also that if the HD remake of Halo 1, called "Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary", would be a moderate success, the chances of a remake of Halo 2 are very good. Further Microsoft announced their plans about the releases of new Halo titles. There will be no new Halo game every year which could hint to the new Xbox 720 with Halo 5 or Halo 6 as launch titles, to demonstrate the power of the new console. Information will be revealed at the E3 2012.


CoD Black Ops - Map Pack 3 Leaked

The 3rd map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops was leaked, but it's only a rumor so far. This image shows the content of the new map pack for Black Ops, included are 5 new maps :
  • Hangar 18
  • Drive-In
  • Silo
  • Hazard
  • New Zombie level
Although this is only a rumor, it could be possible. The second map pack, The Escalation pack, was also leaked (which you can see here) about a week before its official announcement by retailer GAME via a promotional advertisement. The new image above comes most likely from a GameStop due to the text "Downloadable Content is better at GameStop" on the ad.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:
The Beta start July 14, if you're interested you must own Black Ops. Over two million players have already signed up for it.

Far Cry 3 - Demo Gameplay

This is a demo gameplay trailer from Far Cry 3 during the E3.

You play the role of Jason Brody who stranded on a mysterious island full of crazed people trying to kill you, but to find your lost girlfriend you'll have to face those beside pirates and drug dealers as well. Most likely, Voss is your antagonist in the game.

Ubisoft has presented these first impressions of Far Cry 3 during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles. The game will be released in 2012, four years after Far Cry 2, and is set in the jungel like Far Cry 1 and not in Far Cry 2's Africa. To finish this huge projekt in time Ubisoft Montreal, Massive Entertainment and Ubisoft Shanghai, all three, are working simultaneously at this "First Person Adventure", like they call it, not a "First Person Shooter". The shootings and guns will not be the main part but the setting and to explore the world, of course with some violence, blood, knifes and guns as well.

So far, Far Cry 3 will be released 2012 for PC, Xbox 360and Playstation 3.


Wii U Console for 2012

The new Wii U console will be released summer 2012.

During the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Nintendo unveiled the Wii U, and Sega's executive vice president of marketing Alan Pritchard talked about a possible release date. Alsthough this isn't confirmed yet, the release would be somwhere between spring and summer 2012. After analysing the techdemos of thee Wii U, experts said that it would run with 30 frames per second and had a resolution of 720p. So no HD will be supported - what Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, denied. The console would support a resolution of 1080p and would have the best graphics available compared to what's on the market, he said.

Another huge feature shall be the online expieriences the players could make. Further information weren't given by Nintendo so far, but nobody believes a real competitor to Playstation and Xbox.


New Call of Juarez - Release Date

Call of Juarez: The Cartel will be released July 22.

After several rumours about the exact release date of The Cartel, Ubisoft has set the release date of  Call of Juarez: The Cartel to July 22, 2011 during the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles). This date is only for the console version of the game, meaning Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, because PC players have to wait longer. Their version will hit the market August 26, 2011. Ubisoft has also announced that a demo will be available before the actual release.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel is the third game in the series, after Call of Juarez and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood. This first-person shooter is set into present day but full of Old Western lawlessness and violence, it's a "modern Western shooter".

The debut-trailer of Starcraft II – Heart of the Swarm was released by Blizzard.

The expansion also includes the official DotA map for Starcraft 2, the game will be releaed 2012. Features are a whole new singleplayer campaign, as well as units and maps are added to the multiplayer. If you aren't familiar with Starcraft 2, here is a short overview over the game:

Starcraft II isn't the newest game anymore, but it's still being played by millions all over the world.
It was released on the 27th July 2010 by Blizzard following up on “Starcraft – The Brood Wars”. The game also has 2 expansions; “Heart of the Swarm” and “Legacy of Void” which are not released yet though. Considering it was announced 3 years earlier it did not take as long as many other games did to actually appear on the market, even though there is a 10 year time gap between the appearance of Starcraft I and II.
It is one of the most popular games in the whole world selling over 3 million times in the first few months – and not to forget the illegal copies.

The game can be played in different combinations ranging from a simple 1vs1 to 4vs4 or even a free for all.
The campaign offers you over 48 hours of intense gameplay and an interesting storyline to follow. Not to forget you can choose which missions you undertake, which side you want to fight for making the campaign fun to play more than once.
You have 3 races to choose from at the start of every multiplayer game:

Human exiles from earth, them having basic units like marines, machines like siege tanks and airplanes.

An alien race consisting of a multitude of super-species of assimilated life forms, having only living units, not machines of any kind.

A highly developed alien race having strong mental powers having basic units like protoss warriors, machines like robot worms and flying units like the protoss carries.

There are many different tactics in this game, but the main aim is still to destroy your enemy, you do this by destroying all buildings that are able to produce units, and all units that are able to construct buildings.
You start with a main building and 5 “miners” different for each race. You have 2 different resources, minerals and vespine gas. Minerals is the main resource and is needed to build basic units etc while vespine gas is needed for developing and producing advanced units.
You start harvesting resources and expanding your base. Now the question is if you want to build a second base and push up your resources or build a small army up very fast. Every tactic can be countered and often players only have milliseconds to decided what to do.
The problems that appeared with this game was one that had not been seen before – there is no LAN feature. LAN (Local Area Network) basically means playing offline together, 2 or more computers connected to each other without the use the internet. This is causing the game to be less attractive for “professional players” because as seen in some tournaments, which have to be played over battle-net, there often is delay or even players dropping making the whole experience worse and even “manipulates” games.

All in all Starcraft II is a very nice game though, it merges old and new concepts, giving an interesting single player campaign and a huge amount of possibilities online, along with the editor.

[Review] DotA – Defense of the Ancients


DotA is a custom map from Warcraft III – Reign of Chaos and it’s expansion, Warcraft III – The Frozen Throne. The date of the first appearance of the map is not 100% clear, but it was sometime in 2003.

There were many different maps that developed on the first DotA mod, but the one that eventually become dominant was developed by Steve Feak also know under the nick “Guinsoo”.

After about 2 years the development was handed over to a mapmaker under the nick “Icefrog”, who was been working on it ever since.


Unlike most RTS games you do not control a race and have to build a base, gather resources, expand, etc. At the very start you get to pick one of 104 unique heroes, which are sorted under 3 main attributes; strength, intelligence and agility. There are different games modes which give you a certain pool of heroes to choose from or similar, but I won’t go into detail as it would take to long to explain every single mode.

After having picked a hero you buy item from you start gold and move to a lane. About 1 minute and 30 seconds after the game having started your allied creeps will spawn from your base. There are 3 different lanes which the creeps will enter, on each lane there are 3 towers. These towers are very strong at the start, but loose importance the longer the game lasts since the heroes grow in strength as well. So from both teams, “Sentinel” and “Scourge”, creeps spawn. The creeps are controlled by the computer and evenly balanced if no heroes interfere.

The main aim of the game is to push one, or all, of the 3 lanes, enter the opponents base and destroy their main building, for the Sentinel it’s “The World Tree” and for the Scourge it’s “The Frozen Throne”. Before you actually destroy the main building of the opposing team, you can also destroy their “barracks”. Each lane has 2 of these, and for every 1 you destroy you own creeps will get stronger giving you an advantage.

To achieve your goal you have to level up your hero, you do this by standing close to enemy creeps to gain experience. For every level you gain, you get a skill point. You have 3 different skills and 1 ultimate skill. You can level each skill up to level 4 and your ultimate up to level 3. The other 10 skill points are used to upgrade your stats.

Besides leveling up you also have to farm gold to buy yourself powerful items. You do this by last hitting enemy creeps, or neutral creeps which are positioned around the whole map.

Other infos:

Average DotA games take around 40 minutes even though some are decided after 10 minutes and some take about 90 minutes! There are a lot of games hosted on b-net by players and host bots alike, but like any other major e-sport there are also leagues and tournaments with considerable prize pools.
To be able to play DotA on Warcraft III’s very own battle-net you simply have to buy Reign of Chaos and The Frozen Throne. Both are available for 10 euro each in close to every major PC shop.

I hope you enjoyed this short review of DotA any maybe you are inspired to give it a try.