A Guided Tour of Landmark's Largest Update

Landing today, the largest update for Landmark so far is set to shake the foundations of the game. We were lucky enough to get a guided tour of what’s inbound from Director of Development Dave Georgeson and Senior Producer Terry Michaels.

After much time spent on polishing the building tools and laying the foundations of core systems, SOE is ready to unleash some features that signal a leap forward towards the game's ultimate destination. While Landmark has provided an excellent canvas for builders, the time has come to add the elements that make Landmark a full game, and this update includes a sizeable chunk of them.

There’s so much, in fact, we’re going to break it down into sections for the sake of clarity. There will be some overlap, but it’ll save me from going insane as my nerd brain tries to communicate all the awesome all at once. Have you ever heard a 7 year old excitedly explain Minecraft to a patient relative? It would be like that.

The Cave System

There are already surface caves to run around and get lost in, but this update is going to push them all the way down through Landmark’s massive underground space. As players travel deeper through the five layers the risks get riskier as the rewards get rewardier.

Featuring developer and player-made structures and points of interest, much larger caverns will be scattered underground, these will be the best places to find monsters and are intended to be quite a challenge for a lone player.

The team want these places to feel dangerous and to have an element of risk, which is why teleporting works a little differently underground.

A temporary change for this update actually sees the removal of surface caves, so we won’t be running down into the network from the surface for a while. Access to the underground areas will be via the Leyline point at the Hub. Surface caves are due to return for open beta, when the islands will be reformed. This means there is no chance currently that players will lose a claim to a pesky cave placement.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Review

Beyond Earth — A Review From TotalNoob, aka Lindsay Geektron

Allow me to preface everything I say below with an admission: I’ve never played any Civilization games prior to Beyond Earth. None. In fact, the last “strategy” game I played was SimCity 2000. In 1998.

Beyond Earth is a turn-based strategy game built on the Civilization V engine and formula, but unlike previous Civilization games, it abandons the historical context which made earlier iterations so popular, and instead tosses you onto a new planet in the future, which you must then colonize. Folks have been comparing this game to Civ V and Alpha Centauri, which I find ironic, given that Firaxis cannot seem to escape its past even when dealing with the future.

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Full Review

Dragon Age: Inquisition — ZAM's Complete Review

I'm sure most of us have a favorite genre or series that we currently or at one point devoted hundreds of hours of our life to. It takes a special game to grab our attention and keep us entertained for hours, and with the number of games that are released every month, there's a lot tugging our attentions every which-way.

As I mentioned in my impressions article of Dragon Age: Inquisition, the game showed a lot of promise from an early first look. Since then I've devoted a lot of time into the story, and still have some more to go, but Inquisition definitely has that "wow" factor. The world of Thedas has captivated me with its deep story, cast of characters and expansive world.

If you're looking for a tl;dr, then here it is: you should be playing Dragon Age: Inquisition the moment it releases on Tuesday, November 18th (November 21st in the EU). Now let's get into what gives this RPG the legs to stand above many others.

Aeos Rises: A Look at Stormthrone's History

Stormthrone: Aeos Rising is an upcoming F2P browser-based experience by R2Games, styled in the tradition of MMORPG classics. Alpha kicks off this this week so today we're delving into the game's backstory!

The History of Stormthrone

In between plugs for pre-Alpha minigames (from which you can earn codes for in-game currency before the Alpha begins on November 19th) and comedic glimpses into the work life of monsters, R2Games has been quietly posting surprisingly rich lore nuggets about Stormthrone's game world.

About its game universe, actually. By the time you reach the end of "Aeos Rises: Part 1", Aeos hasn't even been created yet – but a great war has broken out between the pioneer gods who colonized an empty universe and the demons that live to destroy it. It's deep stuff, and while it's not like gods and demons ever get along in most fantasy worlds, there's enough style to make it worth taking a look.

Part 2 starts out with a poetic look at Stormthrone's demons:

Evolve: Big Alpha Impressions

The Evolve Big Alpha weekend was definitely a blast; nearly every top-tier journalism site started tossing out alpha codes by the thousands and the masses gobbled them up for the weekend to test out the game servers. Streamers, YouTube personalities, weekend adventurists and even teenage brothers and sisters joined the massive asymmetrical shootfest of man against monstrosity. An impressive turnout definitely helped 2K Games / Turtle Rock to turn development and server testing towards the right direction, but is it enough to promise that the game will have lasting power? We take a look.

Dragon Age: Inquisition - First Impressions

First Impressions: Inquisition

Dragon Age: Inquisition, the biggest RPG to-date that BioWare has built, releases next Tuesday. I stepped into the world of Thedas this week to take my first look at what Inquisition has to offer, and so far have not been disappointed.

Dragon Age Keep
The Dragon Age Keep is a companion website to help track your story you've created in the Dragon Age series. By using important decisions from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, the Keep re-creates your world history and presents it to you.

If you're like me and this is your first Dragon Age game, the Keep still is relevant. A default story will play for you, and at crucial moments you can choose different outcomes to events. After the story completes you will be presented with tiles of events -- your Tapestry -- from the games and can choose to either lock those choices, keep them as-is and unlocked, or select a different scenario.

The Dragon Age Keep is available to everyone now, and Inquisition will be added to it for launch day.

Stormthrone: Blacksmith and Battleground Previews

Stormthrone: Aeos Rising is an upcoming F2P browser-based experience by R2Games, styled in the tradition of MMORPG classics. R2Games has recently shared with us a preview of two exciting features in the game: the Blacksmith and the Battlegrounds.

Blacksmith

BIGGER sword, TOUGHER armor? Yes please, especially in a harsh land like Aeos. Let’s start by learning the arts of blacksmithing from the legendary Dirk Ironbraid!

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.