Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer

Genre Role-Playing Styles Third-Person 3D Action RPG Developer Obsidian Entertainment Publisher Atari, Inc.
Minimum Requirements: 2Ghz Cpu, 512 Ram, 5.5gb hard drive space, 128mb videcard
Multiplayer: 2-4 players

pc game /Can you go home again? And if so, how much will you—or your home—have changed since you left? Thai’s one of Neverwinter Nights 2. Mask of the Betrayers ihemes. but its also a question for beleaguered D&D fans desperate for the original NWN2, only to discover a virtual plague of bugs and camera problems rendering it all but unplayable. The good news: One year and 250 megabytes worth of patches later, the game is finally as good as promised. The better news: The new Mask of the Betrayer expansion is a stronger, more complex and ultimately more satisfying game.

It’s also not easy. Set soon after the original game’s end. Mask begins with your character—you can keep your old guy or create one from scratch—at level 18 (or up to 20 if you were there already). The expansion adds two new base classes. Favored Soul and Spirit Shaman, and five new prestige classes, which, of course, you may be dying to try, but since you start at such a high level, it’s kinda like buying an MMO character off eBay. Yes, your character is powerful from the start, but good luck knowing what you’re doing. Fortunately, you can start the new classes from level 1 in the original NWN2 campaign if you’d like to learn the mecharics on an easier level.
Me, I chose to import my trusty level 18 Dwarf Paladin. Doofaeus Moronico—and had my best DSD RPG experience since Black Isle’s 1999 masterpiece, Planescape Torment (though it’s nor in the same league). Planescape is, in fad, the best point of reference here for describing Masks campaign. Rather than sending you on a save-the-world quest. Mask focuses on an inward journey: You awake imprisoned underground for reasons unknown, and you soon find yourself victim of a horrific curse. You spend the bulk of the game hopping through portals into surreal planes and dreamscapes in search of who put this curse on you. why, and how to get rid of it.
The curse is no mere plot device: it has a direct effect on gameplay. You’ve become a spirit-eater and must constantly consume spirits to stay alive It adds a challenging monkey wrench to an already complex game—forcing you to reconsider even basic actions like resting or traveling, if your spirit meter is too low. Add in a few genuinely tough logic puzzles (some frustrabngly short on clues) and a series of side quests that completely vary (some might not even open up) depending on your party makeup, and you have a game that goes a good 20 hours—at least—and begs for repeated playlhroughs.

Mask is not without problems, though. Even all these patches later with two new “modes” to play in, NWN2’s still got one of the most annoying, impos-sibJe-to-use cameras ever. (Obsidian* Please ditch this engine, for all our sakes, next time out.) The new NPCs are a fine, but mostly humorless, bunch. And once again, a few bugs tripped up my game, failing to trigger events and forcing me back to an old save (save early and often, kids). Still, these issues were far less obtrusive this time and ultimately did not dampen my happy feelings that here was the kind of deep. hardcore RPG that old-school fans like me thought they just didn’t make anymore.

RACE 07 – The WTCC Game

Genre Racing Styles Sports Car Racing Developer Simbin Development Team Publisher Viva Media
Minimum Requirements: 1.7Ghz cpu, 128 ram, 2.5gb hard drive space, 256mb videcard (driving wheel recommended)
Multiplayer: 2-5 players

review: Sad truth: The hardcore PC racing-sim scene isn’t what it once was. Luckily for those who appreciate such games—where the sensation of driving a real car is paramount over off-track flash, where four-wheel drifts don’t send you into the next continent, and where force feedback is indeed all it should be—a little Swedish company called SimBin carries the torch. Picking up where pioneers such as Geoff Crammond {World Circuit) and Papyrus Design Group (NASCAR Racing) left off, SimBin s kept the sim faith alive with highly regarded games such as GTR 2. In its latest, Race 07: The Officio! WTCC Gome. SimBin goes crazy…bul in a good way.
Race 07 is a massive affair, encompassing over 300 real-life cars spanning no less than nine real-life classes. From the race-prepped BMW and Alfa Romeo sedans in the 2006 and the 2007 World Touring Car Championships to the scorching open-wheeled monsters of the Formula 3000 series, the retro-cool Caterham Seven sports cars, and skittish throwbacks from the 1987 WTCC, this game pimps no shortage of rides.

More impressive than the sheer number is the distinctive, complex, and credible physics model attached to each. The folks at SimBin don’t merely make a heavier car feel heavier or a faster car faster; they dig deep into the subtle nuances and come up with a wholly unique experience so convincing that they could ve built a couple of games instead of one. And no matter what your level of experience. Race 07 cars are a pleasure to drive. For racing newbies and immigrants from arcade-style titles, the game offers so many drivers’ aids that the only question is which to deactivate. But if you’re a sim veteran, you’ll likely find no better test of your mettle.
With all aids removed, the cars demand all of your attention all of the time—and react agreeably only if you’re skilled, experienced, and silky smooth. However, unlike other notable sims from the past—Papyrus* NASCAR, for one. where the journey from oval to road course was like a descent into hell—they don’t feel artificially challenging. Ultimately, these cars probably drive more like real cars than those in any other game.

The A.I. drivers are another story; Though they smartly avoid collisions with you and struggle with traction just like humans do. they consistently beat the crap out of each other in the first few turns of a race. Thusly, two or three localized yellows—and delays—accompany the start of every event. But that’s what patches are for. Furthermore, the game’s sophisticated online multiplayer mode feels remarkably smooth, even with a dozen cars battling it out.
The game’s track lineup is superb, whizzing you around the globe to 17 intriguing circuits (32 with variants), including several—such as Southeast Asia’s Macau and France’s Pau—that have purportedly never before been replicated. The look is photorealistic, right on down to the bugs on your visor and the smoke puffs from your motor. You will, however, encounter stuttering if you aren’t equipped with a top-of-the-line videocard.
This is likely where Papyrus would be, had the company survived—and that says a ton.

Undercover: Operation Wintersun

PC game / When rumors of a German weapon of mass destruction reach the ears of British generals, they send in John Russell, a nuclear physicist to begin Undercover: Operation Wintersun. Russell must infiltrate Nazi Germany to learn about the “Uranium Project.” As he explores the environments of London and Berlin, he will receive information from characters including Anne Taylor. Gamers must decide if they can trust each informant, or if they are feeding John a line of nothing. Although most puzzles require players to combine items from their inventory, ten mini-games are included and feature timed sections and events where stealth movement is a must.

MotoGP 07

PC game / THQ’s MotoGP series rips its way across the pavement and onto the Pc once again with bikes, riders, and tracks from the 2007 season. Action is available in n “Challenge” mode, “Extreme mode,” or online with up to 16 friends through PC. In “Extreme” mode, gamers ride bikes from three different weight classes while taking part in races on 18 fictional tracks from around the globe. Players win prize money and then use it to upgrade their bike or buy a new one. Additionally, online racers may now challenge friends in “pink-slip” races where the winner takes the loser’s car.

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

PC game / Space marines team up for squad-based shooter battle in this multiplayer-minded follow-up to id’s well-received Quake 4. Designed and developed in the spirit of 2003’s Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Quake Wars allows teams of players to take the roles of Global Defense Force soldiers and alien Strogg warriors to compete against one another in mission-oriented scenarios. Class-specific abilities encourage teamwork among squad mates, giving each player in the group an important role based on the soldier-type chosen. To welcome newer players to the field, aspects of play such as mission-objective listings and vehicle piloting have been simplified, while features such character upgrades and global stat-tracking offer dedicated players opportunities to benefit from strong performances and hard-won victories.


Quake Wars is a class-based, objective focused, team-oriented game. Teams are based on human (GDF) and alien (Strogg) technology. While the teams are asymmetrical, both sides have the same basic weapons and tools to complete objectives. Unlike other team-based online games (such as the Battlefield series), the gameplay is much more focused on one or two main objectives at once, rather than spread all over the combat area. This allows for much more focused and intense combat situations, similar to the original Unreal Tournament assault mode.

Each player class normally has new objectives show up during game play, many times based around the specific capabilities of that class. The game also has the capability to group players into fireteams for greater coordinated strategy. These fireteams can be user created or game generated depending on the mission selected by the player.

The game has an experience points (XP) rewards system in place, which rewards every player some points depending on the mission completed. This accumulated XP later leads to unlocks which may vary from availability of new equipment/weapons to abilities like faster movement or more accurate weapons.[13] These rewards are reset to zero after the completion of every campaign, which consists of three unique maps, all with a common locale/region.

Company of Heroes: Opposing Front

Genre Strategy Styles 3D Real-Time Strategy Developer Relic Entertainment Publisher THQ, Inc.

pc game/ When subordinate asked him for a word of advice. Erwin Rommel commonly offered:Never fight a battle you have nothing to gain by winning” Updated for us gamers, the Generalfeldmarschall’s adage might run: “Never buy an expansion you have nothing to gain by installing.” Company of Heroes was arguably the best game of 2006. Why slap an annex on the Taj Mahal, right? Well, with stand-alone add-on Opposing fronts, developer Relic proves the old plastic surgeons’ adage: Even perfection can benefit from the right kind of augmentations.

The first of these augmentations is OF’s two new playable factions: the Commonwealth (i.e.. 8ritish/Canadians) and the semifictional Kampfgruppe Lehr Panzer Elite (SS Panzer Corps/Luftwaffe Paratroopers). Each new faction has a corresponding single-player campaign: the Brits struggle to seize the French town of Caen during Operation Goodwood, while the SS must prevent Operation Market Garden from punching through German defenses in Holland. Both campaigns feature the perfectly paced, subtly varied mission design that Relic is known for…but alas, both— tike those in the original COH~end too quickly.
Of course, RTS games are as much about schooling scrubs as they are about new campaigns—and if you can find a multiplayer RTS you prefer to OF, you must work for Blizzard. Far from unbalancing the online game, the expansion’s new factions add unique twists to multiplayer matches while leaving the classic, move-countermove tactical shifts untouched, which isn’t to say the differences between the new factions and the original ones are minor. The Tommies, for example, focus primarily on the strength of their officers: Unlike other factions, their units don’t level up with combat experience. But attach a veteran Lieutenant or Captain, and British infantry becomes tougher to break than a Lance Armstrong winning streak. Conversely, the Panzer Elite rely on versatility. Their basic infantry units are smaller and weaker than the other factions’, but they can equip a wide range of gear, suitable for everything from tank-killing to sniping. Additionally, the SS soldiers deal out some serious whuppage in the form of their vehicles, including the Marder III tank destroyer and the imposing Tiger II tank. Truck up one of those bad boys in an online match, and the Allied players might as well start breaking out the Purple Hearts.

New units, new maps, new campaigns—even this well-done—are all standard stuff. But OF takes expansion beyond merely piling new content on the old foundation. The whole game engine gets a face-lift and now features real-time weather effects and day/night cycles. Additionally, fire and smoke now play a crucial role, alternatively illuminating and obscuring crucial views as you play. The result of all this: COKs year-old Essence Engine is still the most beautiful, realistic RTS powerhouse on the market.
Like most beautiful things, though, OFs improvements come at a price. The expansion is an even bigger system succubus than its parent and the loading times are longer than the barrel of an 88mm flak gun. If you don’t have at least 2GB of RAM or a multicore processor, you’ll want to detune this particular engine. Plus, the literal price; OF runs you 40 simoleons—about twice as much as most other expansions. Yeah, it’s a stand-alone…but if you bought COHa year ago, you’ll feel like you just jumped in line with the early adopters of the iPhone. On the other hand. OF bears another characteristic of beautiful things: It’s worth every

FIFA Soccer 08

PC game / FIFA Soccer 08 challenges players to master the skills required to play like a pro soccer player. Fans around the world can experience the same highs and lows of real-world players and tackle the challenges they face on a daily basis. FIFA Soccer 2008 puts you on the pitch to defy the odds, perfect your skills, elevate your game and rise up to win glory for your club.

Ys VII: The Oath in Felghana

PC game / It is is a Japanese-origin computer role-playing game series, and Nihon Falcom corporation’s flagship franchise. It started on the NEC PC-8801 in 1987. Ys titles appear on the MSX2, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive, Famicom, Super NES, PC, PlayStation 2, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM, and cellular phone. “Y’s”, arises from a typographical error in the packaging of the English-language versions of the Sega Master System.

The Ys series chronicles the adventures of Adol Christin, a red-haired young man from a Germanic country with a zest for adventure and an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. Gameplay always revolves around Adol, though his comrade, Dogi, is a frequent companion in his travels around Esteria. Adol is the only truly playable character in the series. Feena was a non-controllable companion in Ys Eternal, and Tarf was set up in Ys II ETERNAL. Several characters follow Adol in Ys IV.

Obscure 2

PC game / Obscure 2 is the sequel to the acclaimed survival horror game Obscure.
Two years ago, at Leafmore High, a group of young teenagers were trapped inside their school and hunted by monsters that had been released by the maniac headmaster. Some of them survived that terrible night, while others perished. Now, the survivors have picked up their lives and joined college. But all is not right on Fallcreek University; strange black flowers have suddenly sprung up everywhere on the campus. While experimenting with these flowers in class, a dangerous substance is discovered that induces strange but vivid dreams. But a handful of students
find out that there is more to the flowers than anyone could have expected; when the seeds finally germinate, a bad trip suddenly turns into a horrible reality…