Although there is not a lot of activity this month in the video game world, there is one game that has been on every gamer’s mind for well over a decade.
Fans of the franchise have waited an extremely long time since the last release, Diablo II: Lord of Destruction, 11 years to be exact.
The game takes place in Sanctuary, the dark fantasy world of the Diablo series. This world was saved twenty years prior by a handful of unnamed heroes in Diablo II, having survived the onslaught brought by the armies of the Burning Hells, Tyrael rewarded the heroes by sending them to safety. It is up to a new generation of heroes to face the forces of evil threatening the world of Sanctuary.
The only confirmed NPCs are Deckard Cain, who has appeared in both of the previous games, and his niece, Leah, a new character who accompanies the hero in quests from time to time. The plot will revolve around two surviving Lesser Evils, Azmodan and Belial, and an artifact known as the Black Soulstone. Diablo’s world map is composed primarily of two main continents with several small islands in the Northwest region. The world of Sanctuary has been dramatically changed by the destruction of the World Stone in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. This will be the first Diablo that includes a PvP arena.
There will be five available character classes. In the previous two games, each class had a fixed gender, but in Diablo III players may choose the gender they would like to play.
- The Witch Doctor is a new character reminiscent of the Diablo II necromancer, but with skills more traditionally associated with shamanism and voodoo culture. The witch doctor has the ability to summon monsters, cast curses, harvest souls, and hurl poisons and explosives at his enemies. Blizzard has statedthat the witch doctor is not another version of the necromancer and that they may incorporate the necromancer in a future expansion if they so desire. To power spells the witch doctor uses mana, which regenerates slowly.
- The Barbarian will have a variety of revamped skills at their disposal based on the use of incredible physical prowess. The barbarian is able to whirlwind through crowds, cleave through swarms, leap across crags, and crush opponents upon landing. The resource used by the barbarian is fury, which is generated through getting attacked by enemies, attacking enemies and through certain abilities. Fury is used for certain strong abilities and degenerates over time.
- The Wizard is a version of the sorceress from Diablo II or the sorcerer from Diablo. The Wizard’s abilities range from shooting lightning, fire and ice at their enemies to slowing time and teleporting around enemies and through walls. The wizard fuels their spells with arcane power, which is a fast regenerating power source.
- The Monk is a melee attacker, using martial arts to cripple foes, resist damage, deflect projectiles, attack with blinding speed, and land explosive killing blows. It combines the melee elements of Diablo II’s assassin class with the “holy warrior” role of the paladin. Blizzard has stated that the monk is not related in any way to the monk class from the Sierra Entertainment-made Diablo: Hellfire expansion. The monk is fueled by spirit, which has defensive purposes and is slowly generated through attacking, though it does not degenerate.
- The Demon Hunter combines elements of Diablo II’s amazon and assassin classes. Demon hunters use crossbows as their main weapon and also throw small bombs at enemies. Some of their skills have been revealed and among them are arrow skills such as Chain Arrow. The demon hunter is fueled by discipline and hatred. Hatred is a fast regenerating resource that is used for attacks, while Discipline is a slow regenerating resource used for defensive abilities.
Diablo III will be available (finally) on May 15th, 2011.
MAX PAYNE 3
Max Payne 3 is a third-person shooter in which the player assumes the role of its titular character, Max Payne. Max Payne 3 will feature the over-the-shoulder zoom aiming and cover mechanics. However, these will just serve as garnish to the game’s classic run-and-gun shooting.Max Payne 3 will also make return of bullet-time in action sequences, which the franchise is notable for. In bullet time it will be possible to see every bullet make a hole in your foes. A “Last Man Standing” mechanic, which gives Max a reprieve from death for a small period if he has one painkiller on him. If the player is able to kill the enemy that delivered the wounding shot with bullets he’ll recover enough energy to soldier on.
Max Payne 3 retains the shoot-dodge mechanic from the previous games. Max will also be able to stay grounded after a dive, which enables him to shoot 360 degrees around. Rockstar has blended physics and animation, so that when Max dives around, he does so appropriately according to his surroundings. Through advanced utilization of the Euphoria physics engine, shooting and killing enemies in Max Payne 3 will look noticeably more realistic than in any preceding Rockstar games as well.
New to the series are cinematic action movements, interactive cut-scenes which will transition seamlessly into continuing game-play. More over there will be no loading screens across game-play and cut-scenes.
According to Rockstar’s Sam Houser, it is their intention on starting a new chapter of Max Payne’s life with the game. “This is Max as we’ve never seen him before, a few years older, more world-weary and cynical than ever.” Since the last game, the press release states Max has left New York City behind and has “drifted from bad to worse.”
I know what you are thinking, Minecraft is not a new game. In fact, it has been out for awhile. However, it has never been released for a console just yet and that itself is pretty notable. The Xbox 360 version of the game, developed by 4J Studios, will support Kinect play and cross-platform playability with the PC version. Minecraft is focused on creativity and building, allowing players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D world.
A player in Minecraft has a lot of freedom to choose how to play the game, with the primary goals being surviving attacks by monsters (known in-game as “hostile mobs”) and building shelter. The core gameplay revolves around construction. The game world is essentially made of cubes arranged in a fixed grid pattern which represent different materials, such as dirt, stone, various ores, water, and tree trunks. While the players can move freely across the world, objects and items can only be placed at fixed locations relative to the grid. The player can gather these material blocks and place them elsewhere, thus potentially creating various constructions.
Although Minecraft is mostly a sandbox game, it contains some adventure elements. And, with that, a primary win condition, which is achieved by traveling to another dimension known as The End and defeating the powerful Enderdragon that flies around the map. This dimension is also home to the Endermen, a race of seemingly-sentient beings that are rarely seen on the main world. To find The End, one must locate underground ruins of an ancient civilization (referred to ingame as Strongholds) which can be found on the main overworld. They must then activate the stronghold’s portal using items crafted from drops from Endermen and Blazes, which can be found in alternate dimension called The Nether.