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Pay $10 for a Jenner mech in MechWarrior Online to honor 5-year old cancer victim

Today Piranha Games and Infinite Game Publishing honor the passing of one of the youngest and most talented Canadian pilots in the Inner Sphere, five-year-old Sarah Marie Alida Parries. A custom Jenner Class Chassis Champion ‘Mech, “Sarah’s ‘Mech”, is available now (http://mwomercs.com/sarah) for pilots to purchase for $10 USD through August 20th, with 100 percent of the proceeds (after third-party transaction fees) going to the Canadian Cancer Society (www.cancer.ca.) 

The five year old Vancouver native loved piloting the Jenner ‘Mech in MechWarrior Online with her father, Jon Parries. Calling the enemy ‘Mechs “baddies”, she and her father dominated the Inner Sphere on a regular basis in the current Open Beta. Her favorite ‘Mech chassis was the Jenner ‘Mech with streak SRMs, “because she liked to move fast, lock on, and liked using night vision,” according to her father.

“Sarah’s passion for ‘Mechs and her battle with cancer had a profound impact everyone at Piranha,” said Russ Bullock, president of Piranha Games. “She was an inspiration with her passion and energy for the game and our hearts and deepest condolences go out to her family. The outpouring of heartfelt sympathy from the MechWarrior community and the support and encouragement we’ve received to develop this unique ‘Mech has been nothing short of incredible. We have the best fans in the world.”

President of Infinite Game Publishing Kelly Zmak said, “Sarah touched the hearts of everyone at IGP. We’re extremely grateful for the opportunity to do something in her honor. Thank you to the Parries for working with us to make this a possibility, and our utmost gratitude to our community for supporting this endeavor.”

Proceeds from the sales of Sarah’s ‘Mech will be kept in a running, real-time rally on www.mwomercs.com/sarah. Additionally, a dedicated web page where people will be able to donate to the Canadian Cancer Society and to equivalent internationally recognized cancer societies is now live at alongside the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Click here for more information, screenshots, video of the ‘Mech in action: http://mwomercs.com/forums/topic/127845-sarahs-mech-frequently-asked-questions/.

Sarah’s ‘Mech is equipped with a Sarah-themed custom exterior design (including an Inner Sphere pony!) Sarah’s ‘Mech also comes loaded with a 10 percent XP Boost. This is the one and only time that MechWarriors around the world can purchase this exclusive Charity ‘Mech and show their support to the ongoing fight against cancer. *One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society, net of applicable Sales Taxes and third-party transaction fees such as credit card and payment processing fees. These fees typically represent less than four percent of the purchase price.


MechWarrior Online Atlas Trailer and Tournament @ NVIDIA HQ

MechWarrior Online developers released the Founder’s version of the Atlas Mech today, complete with some epic new gameplay video. Links below, and also we wanted to share the official video from the MechMadness LAN Tournament last week on the NVIDIA campus! There was pizza, there was beer, there were hundreds of fans and yes, there was larger-than-life giant robot stomping going on.

Check that video out here: http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/gamers-compete-in-mechwarrior-online-tournament-at-nvidia-hq/

And watch the brand new action-packed Atlas trailer!

…continue reading » MechWarrior Online Atlas Trailer and Tournament @ NVIDIA HQ


MechWarrior Tactics Closed Beta Keys to be handed out at GenCon, New Screenshots

Catalyst Game Labs is hitting Gen Con hard this year, and now there’s one more reason fans should check out the booth at the show: coveted MechWarrior Tactics closed beta keys will be handed out to lucky fans while they last as part of a two-sided exclusive poster giveaway featuring both MechWarrior Online and MechWarrior Tactics.

MechWarrior Online (www.mwomercs.com) is the premium online successor to the best-selling MechWarrior franchise.  Set in the year 3049 during the early stages of a massive interstellar war, MechWarrior Online puts you in command of the most powerful war machine to ever walk the field of battle, the mighty BattleMech. Pilot your Mech and customize it to suit your preferred battlefield role; upgrade systems, weapons, and armor with endless options giving you creative control over your battle strategy as you face your next opponent. 

MechWarrior Tactics (www.mwtactics.com) is the latest evolution of turn-based strategy blending tactical gameplay, deep collectability, and unique online features, as you command numerous BattleMechs against an online opponent towards victory.

Securing the poster with the closed beta key is easy: Stop by the Catalyst Game Labs booth 1703 at Gen Con for your free MechWarrior Online/MechWarrior Tactics poster, while supplies last.

“I love every opportunity to play in the BattleTech/MechWarrior universe, whether it’s the board game, fiction or computer games,” said Randall N. Bills, Managing Developer of Catalyst Game Labs. “Not only are both of these games shaping up to be a fan’s dream-come-true, but I’m lucky enough to be working directly with directly with Infinite Game Publishing on these games. In all my years of dealing with various computer games set within this universe, I’ve never seen so much passion, or so much desire to pay the appropriate respect to where it all started. It’s simply a fantastic time to be a fan!”

For more information about MechWarrior Online and MechWarrior Tactics, hit up www.mwomercs.com and www.mwtactics.com. Additionally, fans who want to get immediate access to theMechWarrior Online beta can purchase a Founder’s Package at www.mwomercs.com/founders. …continue reading » MechWarrior Tactics Closed Beta Keys to be handed out at GenCon, New Screenshots


MechWarrior Online – Caustic Valley reveal with tips & tricks

Today Piranha Games unveiled the Caustic Valley in the Inner Sphere for the upcoming MechWarrior Online – and it’s hot! I mean, the video is hot, but the Caustic Valley (aka CMO 26) is a mineral rich, hazy and brutally hot valley environment that will affect how your mech disperses heat, drastically affecting your gameplay and strategy – especially those with heavier, hotter mechs. Tips and tricks are sprinkled in this MechWarrior Online environment reveal, so pay close attention to which weapons are recommended for victory.

…continue reading » MechWarrior Online – Caustic Valley reveal with tips & tricks


Duke Nukem Forever Review

– Scott Ellison

Our Score: 2 / 5 – Mediocre

 NOTE: This review covers PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3 versions of Duke Nukem Forever. However, I only had time to play the Steam (PC) version for the purpose of this review.

If you have your mind made-up about Duke Nukem Forever, then there is nothing I will be able to say to change that stance. However, if you don’t have an opinion one way or the other regarding Duke Nukem or the game of Forever, please read on as I may allow you to make the best decision for yourself. Which immediately brings me to the point of this Review (and a bit of Editorial), this game is the definition of subjective. We all have been through a lot the past 14 years waiting on the completion of Duke Nukem Forever throughout it’s tumultuous development. Some moved on, others stayed vigilant. I remained on the vigilant side as well, not quite to my friend Billy’s level though. I’ll admit, as the years wore on – I never thought it’d see the light of day. I had lost all concern whether it was going to be good or not. I just wanted to play it.

The game starts in the pisser. No, literally – you as Duke Nukem begin pissing in a toilet. Once you’re done from the forced sequence you can do a bit of free roaming in the area as you like. Even take a gander at yourself, and be narcissistic. The character model seems different from Duke Nukem 3D. While it’s been 12 years, Duke looks younger than he did in DN3D – I’m sure in an attempt to keep him “fresh” looking. Quickly you’ll realize some familiarities in the first level to that of the 1996 game. If you’ve played the demo, this part has been spoiled for you as to what happens – but if you haven’t I’ll leave it to you to discover. Almost every part of the world is interactive. You can turn on and off lights, write on whiteboards, open and close lockers and doors, and drink from fountains.

Shooting is straight-forward, but not so different from any other first person shooter on the market today. You point at a alien dude or pigcop dude and they die when you pull the trigger. Now, the thing that sticks out is the omission that Duke can no longer carry 9 weapons. He’s relegated to choose 2 weapons (any combination works, not a primary/secondary scenario). The guns he does use feel okay, but maybe are lacking in sound to provide that power you’d expect when unloading into baddies. His special grenade types (trip mines and pipebombs) and whatnot are part of a separate inventory. There are bonus enhancers like Steroids which will put you into a rage where you bring up your fists and will one-hit kill anything that connects into a bloody, gooey mess.  Beer will increase your resistance to damage and allow you to unleash out in the open.

Duke Nukem Forever looks decent enough, I was able to run the game at max settings and attain 60fps throughout. The game does run on Unreal Engine 2.5, rather than Unreal Engine 3. Though it doesn’t suffer too much for it and holds up remarkably well despite the numerous numerous engine changes the game has endured throughout the years.

Bosses are managable, strategic affairs that require a bit more than circle strafing (sans the first boss). Duke Nukem Forever’s bosses are almost always larger than man-sized creatures and can only be damaged by explosive weaponry. Luckily enough, at each encounter you are given an explosive weapon and a supplies crate of endless refills to meet that requirement. At the end of each boss fight, you are able to indulge (unavoidably) in a context sensitive area to humiliate the beast you’ve slain.

The game does cover many of the first person shooter locale diversity in a cliched manner, almost as if there was a pre-requisite for levels: rail sequence, platforming, driving, collecting, and underwater. Though the game is lacking any sort of space station, or killing aliens on the moon. The name of this game is fun. While others will complain it’s not enough – it most certainly is. I found the back half of the game to be far more enjoyable than the first. Each level has it’s moments of quips and one-liners that’ll get a chuckle or even a hearty laugh out of you. Jokes range from where we last left Duke to just a few years ago – making it a testament of the time it’s taken to develop Duke Nukem Forever.

Multiplayer follows the recent trend of having a persistent ranking system that provides an awesome “Pad” for Duke Nukem and able to unlock more and more stuff for your Pad and making it a nice showpiece of your multiplayer accomplishments. All of the MP modes are standard fare: Dukematch (Deathmatch), Team Dukematch (Team Deathmatch), Capture the Babe (Babe = Flag), and King of the Hill. All characters are Duke Nukem, only differentiated by their t-shirts (as was the case in Duke Nukem 3D). There’s a remake of the first level of Duke Nukem 3D, Hollywood which has been turned into some sort of Paintball Arena, but retains all of the damage Duke gave it when the aliens attacked 12 years ago. This was a  lot of fun, I set up a custom game of Dukematch with Fists only, which was a one-hit kill – it’s worth playing, but won’t be the new Call of Duty or Battlefield.

It’s worth watching Duke Nukem Forever’s credits to see all of the people involved throughout the years of it’s development. It unlocks a nice “Thank You” achievement/trophy at the end of the 12 minute sequence as a result – not sure if that’s a nod to the development time or just a strange coincidence.

If I could describe this game into one sentence, it would be: The title of the game would be better understood if it was called Duke Nukem Forever HD, a game remade in HD where the original didn’t even exist. What I mean by that is, it’s a game that feels like it did step out of a time machine – but is no less fun or engaging to play as a result because it looks and plays like most modern shooters while having fun at their expense.

Duke’s next outing should fare a bit better. Here comes the hard part…

Retails for: $49.99, recommended purchase price: $19.99