Archive for July, 2010

Game Review: Alien Swarm

Earlier this week, after much waiting and uncertainty, the Valve Corporation released Alien Swarm based on the 2004 mod of Unreal Tournament by the same name. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Valve, these are the guys that run the infamous Steam Online gaming service, which is pretty much the only way to get your hands on Alien Swarm. However, for the price tag of free, it is really a no-brainer to download and try this game.

Alien Swarm is a 4-man, co-op, top-down shooter. Players of the game Super Smash TV from back in the day will remember this format. The graphics are much better of course and Alien Swarm is played with a keyboard and mouse, but the familiarity is readily apparent. The controls are a little wonky at first. You use the standard WASD to move your character around, and the mouse pointer targets your gun. I don’t know how many times I’ve shot myself in the foot trying to move my guy, while fighting enemies swarming from all sides.
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Sprawl Featured in Beckett Magazine!

Be sure to run out and purchase a copy of the latest Beckett Massive Online Gamer! I rock 10 pages of the magazine, complete with World of Warcraft Cataclysm information, Worgan coverage, and an interview with Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street.

These are the articles that came from my trip last month to Blizzard Headquarters, so while the information is a tad out of date already, it is still good stuff!

WoW Cataclysm: The Combat Rogue

The history of the Rogue is long and somewhat boring to be honest. We’ve always managed to be one of the most powerful classes throughout the history of World of Warcraft mostly due to the “stealth factor”. Our ability to surprise our enemies and choose our fights has generally compensated for any of the deficiencies of the class throughout the years. This appears to be changing come Cataclysm, where surprise just can’t beat a whole boatload of stamina. As such, the developers have given the Rogue a number of new tricks to their arsenal in order to turn us into more of a light nimble hand-to-hand fighter rather than a surprise from the shadows assassin.

The first move that stood out immediately for me was Recuperate. This is a new finishing move, which means it requires combo points. The more combo points you spend, the more health it heals. You basically can trade your combo points for a very respectable HoT (heal over time), that can be further improved with a damage reduction bonus through talent points. For anyone that has played a Rogue, the thought of trading damage for healing seems almost unfathomable. It will be interesting to see if in the long run many Rogues opt to use this ability, or ignore it.

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Editorial Correspondent

Since 1999, Stephen "Sprawl" Russell has provided written video game and convention coverage for industry leaders such as IGN Entertainment, Beckett Media, Voodoo Extreme 3D, NCSoft, Stratics, Gamespy, Curse Gaming, Wikia, and the Vault Network.

Sprawl is available for hire! :)
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