News stuff

There’s always lots of gaming news but I don’t make much of an effort to talk much about it unless it particularly interests me. Hell, E3 came and went a few weeks ago unnoticed by this blog for that matter. Lately though there’s been a stack of stories that I’ve wanted to comment on all hitting the gaming news aggregation sites at around the same time.

It turns out that EA’s merging Bioware’s Old Republic and Mythic’s Warhammer Online (and, I’m assuming other) teams. Mark Jacobs of Mythic has also stepped down though it isn’t clear under what circumstances. It’s understandable that EA might want Mythic to lend its considerable MMO experience to the Bioware since this will be Bioware’s first MMO but given Jacob’s departure the opposite scenario could be true as well – perhaps EA wants Bioware to help save Warhammer Online?

Mark leaving is also a bit surprising to me as he’s been the voice of Warhammer Online and Mythic as a whole to some degree for a while now and, while I admit I haven’t been keeping up on Warhammer Online news after unsubscribing, he didn’t seem to be receiving too much credit for any of the game’s shortcomings. Perhaps EA feels differently about it though. For what it’s worth I liked Warhammer Online quite a lot and will probably check it out again someday. I can only imagine the recent changes such as the addition of the Land of The Dead are only improvements. As a bit of a Bioware fan I also hope that Old Republic turns out to be the World of Warcraft killer that so many people think it might be.

Two games I was interested in, ArmA II and Battlefield 1943 have both been released. ArmA II is, unsurprisingly, apparently chalk full of bugs. The first ArmA game was much the same way though in my experience much was fixed in post release patches. I’ve got it on order but don’t plan on jumping into it too soon. The XBLA and PS3 Battlefield 1943, however, is quite good according to most reports I’ve read. It has been having major server problems since launch, however. I definitely plan on checking that one out quite soon. Battlefield Heroes is also officially live now and I don’t know how I’ve not yet tried it.

Seemingly out of nowhere Piranha Games officially confirmed that it is working on MechWarrior 5. Battletech/MechWarrior lovers rejoice! Fans of the series have been pining for a sequel to simulation heavy MechWarrior PC series for quite sometime now and the closest they’ve gotten recently were the two MechAssault games on the original Xbox… which is to say not very close. Sadly I predict that MechWarrior fans will freak out even more than Fallout fans did over Fallout 3 when this is finally released and isn’t exactly what they wanted it to be down to the last detail. Check out this trailer.

Bethesda’s parent company Zenimax has bought Id software. I guess Bethesda wasn’t screwing around about wanting to get more into publishing games. John Carmack has done a few interviews and whatnot and seems generally quite pleased with the deal though as an oldschool Wolfenstein 3D and Doom fan it still stings a little. Still, this makes the total gaming geek in me wonder about the possibility of the next Elder Scrolls or Fallout game running in an Id engine or even a Doom open world RPG. 😛

Finally, and these ones are a bit older than the rest but well worth the wait. First of all LucasArts is releasing a remake of the original Secret of Monkey Island on PC and XBLA in a special edition format with remade graphics and voice acting. Soooo bought. Telltale Games, responsible for the Sam and Max episodic games, has also announced it’s working on an episodic Monkey Island series called Tales of Monkey Island. Again, bought… Well, eventually. It’s only coming to WiiWare and PC at first so I might hold off for a XBLA release.

Finally, LucasArts announced that it’ll be releasing some of its back catalog on Steam. The first round isn’t amazing exciting though it features some games I’d definitely consider classics such as The Dig and the Indian Jones adventure games. I’m sure they’ll be more than this released down the line and there’s a high possibility that I’ll be buying it all. I wish LucasArts would release these old games in a retail format as well, just for safe keeping, but Steam is better than nothing!

Sheesh. All of these announcements are making me think that the original The Secret of Monkey Island may be the next game I review.

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