The Vanishing of Ethan Carter: A Mysterious Review

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a first-person, story-driven mystery game, developed by The Astronauts using the Unreal engine and was inspired by early 20th century macabre fiction pieces. Exploration and discovery are the core components of this non-combat game, and its story is delivered in a non-linear way. Here are Cyliena's spoiler-free impressions of the game!

The Long Dark: Early Access Impressions

The Long Dark is a survival simulation game, developed by Hinterland Studio, currently in Early Access alpha on Steam. Set in the Northern wilderness following the aftermath of a global disaster, you must seek out supplies, explore, brave dangers and more as you strive to survive.

Hinterland offered ZAM review codes to check out the game in this Early Access stage. Check out our impressions below, but keep in mind that they are from the alpha build of the game's sandbox mode and do not reflect the final build of the game.

Destiny Hands-On Preview

If youve been following either the Playstation 4 or Xbox One, youre likely familiar with Bungies Destiny. For many of us, that was the big “you need these new consoles” title announced. The folks behind the original Halo trilogy were back with not just another first-person shooter, but their own take on expanding the genre. While the September 9th release date is still over a month away, Bungie has been bringing in players for alpha and beta testing of its game. Last week we had the first round of beta testing for prospective PS3/PS4 players, and this week the Xbox fans will get their chance to try it out. After some time with the alpha and quite a bit more with the beta, Im ready to talk about my impressions of the game thus far.

Firefall: ZAM Video Preview

Firefall will be releasing on July 29th, and ZAM's Lindsay Ferguson jumped into the game this week to check it out. Find out the details about the game and Lindsay's thoughts in her video preview!

Warlords of Draenor: Letters From the Beta

Three weeks ago I shared with you my impressions of the Warlords of Draenor alpha for World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion - focusing on the only new zone available at that time: Frostfire Ridge. Since then the game has moved into beta and Shadowmoon Valley has opened up, and so it is that I write to you now of this amazing location on Draenor.

Age of Wushu: Tempest of Strife Preview

Tempest of Strife, the fourth expansion for Age of Wushu, is now available for free download. Snail Games has also launched the new Silver Viper server today and will be hosting several in-game events. We recently got to check out the new content and features coming out with the expansion!

WildStar: Choose your Adventure

MMORPGs are games that thrive on giving players memorable adventures and content that they can experience with their friends and share with their guildmates over and over again. In its upcoming MMORPG WildStar, Carbine Studios is taking this term quite literally and adding an actual gameplay type into the game referred to as Adventures!

If you’ve seen Carbine’s latest WildStar Flick, then you might have a good sense of what these dangerous trials may entail--other than knowing your life will be on the line every step of the way. Following the latest Flick, a few press members, including myself, got a chance to hangout with Carbine’s Senior Content Designer, Matt Tobiason, as we ran through one of these Adventures and got to experience first-hand what they were all about. So without further delay, let me jump right in and discuss exactly what these Adventures have in store for all of you would-be heroes coming to planet Nexus!

The Elder Scrolls Online Hands-On Preview

There are now less than two months to go before the official release date for Zenimax Online's newest edition to the Elder Scrolls franchise, The Elder Scrolls Online. After five single-player only games, TESO is the series' first game to not only include multiplayer (without a third-party mod), but also the studio's first entry into the MMO market. Many of us here at ZAM, myself included, are big fans of the Elder Scrolls series, with hours upon hours put into Skyrim alone. The question that remains is whether Zenimax can carry over the appeal of the single-player games and put it into an MMO that appeals to both fans of the Elder Scrolls series and veteran MMO players?

Over the past few weeks I've had the chance to sit down with the game and see more than the stress test weekends would allow. While there is still much more to the game than I was able to experience, I've seen enough that I can give my early impressions of the game.

Take a Peek: Call of the Forsaken - Hate Rising

"Hate Rising" is an extension to the storylines introduced with the Call of the Forsaken expansion, and it is expected to go live on Wednesday, January 22.

So, then, what's coming with Hate Rising? Here is a rundown:

  • New content (same Tier) expands upon current Call of the Forsaken storylines.
  • Tier 1 Breastplates, Vambraces, and Boots are in (finally finish those armor sets!).
  • Three new group missions (one in each of: Ethernere, Neriak Fourth Gate, Dead Hills).
  • Four new raids (one in each of: Ethernere, Bixie Warfront, Neriak Fourth Gate, Dead Hills).
  • 15 new heroic adventures (six in Ethernere; six in Neriak Fourth Gate; three in Bixie Warfront).
  • 15 new nameds spread throughout the heroic adventures.
  • Five new collection sets.
  • Lower level vendorbought gear (using the same Marks of Valor currency):
  • All heroic adventures (new and old) now scale down in difficulty to Level 85.
  • Note: There are no new zones, AAs, or spells in Hate Rising.
    • New sections of the Bixie Warfront and Neriak Fourth Gate are now open (accessed in heroic adventures).

And here are few more visuals (below the jump):

Call of the Forsaken: Feature & Zone Preview

With the Beta NDA now lifted, we take a closer look at two prominent features set to be added with the Call of the Forsaken expansion - Heroic Adventures and Mercenary Enhancements - as well as several screenshots of the zones being introduced at launch time (October 8, 2013).

Heroic Adventures

Heroic adventures are customized shared tasks (1-6 players) that take place in instanced zones and scale in level, difficulty, and loot quality (based on the highest level player in the group) down to Level 95. They are designed for groups of 2-3 players and their mercenaries, and shouldn't take an average group any longer than 45-60 minutes to complete.

What do we mean by "customized"? Well, instead of a standard shared task with an unchanging set of steps to run through, heroic adventures have a randomized component to them whereby there are multiple options (or 'possible directives') for each step in the task. In other words, you can complete one of these heroic adventures, and then the next time you run through the same adventure, you could have a different set of task steps and encounter different NPCs.

Loot-dropping nameds (such as the Dreadmole of the Bixie Warfront or the Monstrous Minnow of the Dead Hills) can also appear in these adventures, and completion results in group currency that can be used to buy gear (both player and mercenary) and spells from vendors in the Ethernere.

It should be noted that there is plenty of content outside of heroic adventures as they are but one facet of Call of the Forsaken (there are also regular partisan and mercenary tasks, as well as regular group missions), and every zone has a static (non-instanced) version.

(Mercenary Enhancements and Zone Screenshots can be found below the jump!)