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New Elder Scrolls Online Trailer – Arrival

I am if anything hesitant to put out so much information for a game I am not likely to get, but here is the new (long) trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online, titled “Arrival”.

 

Among showing lots of jumping around and stuff, it also hints at some kind of undead (maybe Draugr, maybe not), and a nice view of the Imperial City.

 

Poll of the Week 29.01.2014

Sunday Things 26.01.2014

Lo and behold there is another new Skywind trailer out, this one entitled “Savagery“. While it obviously showcases some of the redesigned creatures, I’m guessing that the title is also a reference to the savagery of Morrowind’s landscape, with it’s barren rocks and brooding swamps. Take a look see!

New Elder Scrolls Online PVE Footage

A nice video has been released showing some PVE combat and mechanics involved in the Elder Scrolls Online. Among the features shown are the need to fight certain enemies (in this case an overland boss monster that looks awesome) as a team, fast travel to group members and arena-esque combat, where Daedra come at you in waves. The video is played by Paul Sage (Creative Director), Nick Konkle (Lead Gameplay Designer) and Dan Crenshaw (Dungeon Lead).

This also comes alongside the frankly surprising news that the game has been deemed an M – Mature rating by the ESRB (i.e. 17+). Bethesda has released a statement saying that they do not plan to change the content of the game as a result of the decision.

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Top Ten – KotOR Companions

One of the (many) reasons I love both KotOR and KotOR 2 so much is the characters. They’re well written, interesting, and more often than not pretty funny. So here are my top ten favourites. Note: spoilers, duh.

10. Kreia

KreiaPortrait

Kreia is a former Jedi Master, turned Sith Lord, turned companion to The Exile. While she may be controlling and manipulative, she’s an excellent buffer to have in your team, due to her ability to apply any buff that would normally only be applied to herself to the Exile also! Invaluable, if your Exile is no good at the force.

Darth-vader-Dad-fail-star-wars-the-force(Note: I would have put Kreia higher up this list for her usefulness, but due to story developments I decided against it.)

9. Carth Onasi

Carth

Carth is your first proper companion in the original KotOR, and he’s actually not too bad. If all you need is a gunslinger to back you up, Carth’s your man. He’s pretty paranoid about being betrayed (he would not get on well with Kreia). His standard setup is dual wielding blaster pistols and donning heavy armour. While he lacks a decent skill set and intelligence stat, he can defend himself well enough in melee, so he’s likely to stay alive long enough to be of use. Fiercely loyal to the Republic, and a hardened veteran of the Mandalorian Wars, he’s a solid choice, if at times a bit dull and whiny.

8. Bastila Shan

Speaking of whiny...

Speaking of whiny…

Just as loyal as Carth is to the Republic, Bastila is to the Jedi. She is adamant that she made the right decision not joining Revan to war with the Mandalorians. Although she is quite preachy, she’s a useful asset to have with you in KotOR, as having balanced stats helps a lot; she will be equally as good using force powers as with her double lightsaber. While she’s available to use, again, a reliable choice.

7. T3-M4

T3-m443

The R2-D2 of the KotOR era, T3 is the first companion on this list to feature (as a playable companion) in both KotOR and in KotOR 2. Although he can technically be a ranged fighter, if you really wanted, his main skill is his skills. They’re pretty awesome. As you might expect, if you need anything breaking into, or a computer sliced, T3’s your guy. While in the original films R2 had an amazing personality for a character who never spoke a word, T3 is slightly less charismatic.

6. Juhani

Juhanihead

If you’ve gone down the consular/force user route for KotOR, then Juhani may well prove to be invaluable. Her setup is simple; single lightsaber, decent strength and dexterity stats. It’s probably not even worth telling her to use any force powers, just get her to power attack anything in your path, and you’re sorted. Given that her homeworld was devastated by Mandalorians, she’s been plagued by idiots being xenophobic, and finally slavery, she’s still one of the best out there.

5. Atton Rand

Attonrender

If T3’s the R2 of the series, then that would make Atton the Han Solo of the KotOR world, albeit with a darker backstory. A soldier who fought under Revan in both the Mandalorian War and the Jedi Civil War, he eventually ended up as the first companion of The Exile in the Peragus mining facility. In classic Han style, he’s rogue-ish, wisecracking and handy with a blaster. He is essentially “Carth 2.0” (ie Carth but with skills).

4. Canderous Ordo

CanderousHS-KOTOR

Yet another veteran of the Mandalorian War, Canderous fought for the Mandalorians (you know, being a Mandalorian). He’s the only character to really be suited to the heavy ranged weapons of the games, both as “Canderous” in KotOR, and as “Mandalore” in KotOR 2. But, with a great strength stat and the ability to regen health, he makes a good tank too. Like T3, he makes an appearance in both games, and each time to great effect.

3. Bao-Dur

BaoDur_Rener

A Zabrak, Bao-Dur appears in KotOR 2 only. He served under The Exile in the Mandalorian War, and is renowned as an expert mechanic and engineer, responsible for the creation of the Mass Shadow Generator at Malachor V. As a companion, he’s skilled in anything mechanical, suited towards blaster rifles, and has the unique ability to destroy any force field due to his crazy arm (see below).

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Also good for toasting marshmallows.

On top of all that, he creates The Exile a lightsaber, and (also due to said arm) excels in unarmed combat. Would you really want to be punched by that?

2. HK-47

HK47photoshoot1

Everyone’s favourite killer robot/comedian! HK-47 is, put simply, an assassin droid, and an evil one at that, making him one of the best purely ranged fighters either game has to offer, using a blaster rifle to destroy anything and (if he had his way) everything. With enough skill in repair, you can upgrade his functionality too, for things like boosted dexterity, and health regeneration.

Perhaps his greatest strength, though, lies in his dialogue.

Perhaps his greatest strength, though, lies in his dialogue.

1. Jolee Bindo

JoleeEveryone’s favourite cranky old man/comedian! Jolee Bindo left the Jedi after they refused to punish him for secretly training an apprentice/wife (who went on to turn to the dark side). He considers himself something of a “grey Jedi”, finding both the Jedi and the Sith equally annoying, probably part of the reason he lived on Kashyyyk in the forest for so many years, isolated from either group. While he might be slightly more prone to the light than dark side of the force, he is a master force user, able to use light side buffs and stuns, along with devastating dark side attacks with ease. Unless you’re playing as a consular yourself in the original KotOR, Jolee should always be on your team, if only for some crotchety old man wisdom/rants.

So, who do you think should have made the list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Final Fantasy VIII on Steam!

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Good news for anyone who is a Final Fantasy fan, FF VIII (one of my personal favourites) has made its way onto Steam. Final Fantasy VII was released on Steam in July of this year, and if you haven’t played it yet I thoroughly recommend it, it’s a quality game which I’ll hopefully be writing about soon.

When Steam get around to putting FF VIII on sale, which is inevitable, I’ll be buying it and enjoying the heck out of it! It’s currently priced at £9.99, though I do highly recommend waiting until something like a 50% sale to knock it down (FF VII is also at £9.99). Both VII and VIII are solid, fun games, each with their strengths and weaknesses. Keep tuned in for a review or two!

If anyone’s already got FF VIII, or indeed FF VII, what have your thoughts been on them? Let me know in the comments below!

Elder Scrolls Online Interactive Map

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There’s more interesting Elder Scrolls Online stuff happening! Check out this link right here. Oh wait, not that one, THIS one. It lets you have a mosey on around some of the key areas in the upcoming game, along with bits of info and artwork to go with them. It’s well worth a look.

The Infernal City & Lord of Souls

These two books, written by Greg Keyes, follow on 40 years post-Oblivion-crisis. I’m finding it hard to decide whether to write this as two parts or one. My instinct says two, but you really could (and I am half considering doing this) staple the back cover of The Infernal City to the front cover of Lord of Souls and not a lot would change. Which is my way of saying that, while they are two books, it is very much one story, one set of characters, and one overall story arc. So as compromise, I’ll do them separately, but in this one page, so here goes.

1. The Infernal City

Umbiel_Infernal_CityThe first part starts, puzzlingly, with an account of a few sailors spotting a big, flying city, before switching to a man called Sul, who appears for all of about 2.5 pages before moving on. I know this was the point, to move between characters (as the blurb alludes to), but I quickly found myself not working out who was who, nor which character had which name, nor what they were doing, nor where. The plot evolves into revolving around three central characters, Annaïg (a 17 year old Breton girl living in the Black Marsh town of Lilmoth), Prince Attrebus Mede (son of the Emperor Titus Mede, who eventually assumed control of the Empire after the events of Oblivion) and Colin (man with unimaginative name, spy). The stories of these three characters play off each other, before eventually more or less joining up later on, as they strive to somehow stop the floating city of Umbriel.

I think the best way of summing up the general idea of these books, without giving away plot points, is that if you approach it with an Elder Scrolls mindset, you’ll think they’re not too bad. If you’re looking for well written books, prepare to be disappointed. Thankfully I approached them from the former viewpoint, and enjoyed many of the references and ideas related to Oblivion. And in its favour, the book does a good job of being descriptive and creating nice, interesting environments. However, the manner in which the plot and characters are written leaves a lot to be desired.

2. Lord of Souls

LordOfSouls-coverMuch the same as above (see section 1.), but located in the more familiar territory of Cyrodiil, which is nice. There’s the usual plot developments and twists, and it wraps the story up in a nice (albeit predictable) way. All in all, fair.

If anyone’s read these books, what did you think of them? Better than fair, worse?

Elder Scrolls Online – Character Customisation

This video has just been released of how character customisation is going to work in the upcoming Elder Scrolls Online, take a look see.

In particular, there’s a lot of emphasis on fine tuning the details of your character’s appearance, such as specific body types and tattoos. Looks good, right?

Poll of the Week 16.10.13

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