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BU Reviews: Duke Nukem Forever

The Duke is back, baby! Duke Nukem ForNEVER? Try Duke Nukem Forever! An icon of gaming cliche returns to retail, but is the game as good as the hype? Let hal take you on a journey through time.

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Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition coming to PC

PC Gamers haven't had much love from Microsoft in recent years and that's because Gears of War was such a massive hit on the Xbox.

Now Microsoft is looking to right those wrongs and has announced that that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is coming to PCs running Windows 10.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Killing Floor 2 beta gameplay: Biotics Lab

My second match in the beta for Killing Floor 2 sees the return of the Biotics Lab but it's in name only. The layout is completely different but it's a great homage to a classic KF map.

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Killing Floor 2 beta gameplay: Burning Paris

If you're a fan of the retail version of Killing Floor, you'll appreciate a lot of the improvements in Killing Floor 2 so far. The first thing you notice is the graphics, thanks to a heavily modified version of Unreal Engine 3, you have some of the highest levels of detail possible and it runs butter smooth on the highest quality settings if you have a decent video card. The game-play has been tweaked in many aspects which didn't seem apparent to me when I was playing, but after watching the video some more I'm starting to really like the small things that they've done. Though jumping right in without settings controls did cause me some issues like not knowing how to sell my weapon, the fact that anybody can just start playing and not get instantly slaughtered is great.

For a beta,TWI makes it feel like a fully polished game that's ready for retail but I'm sure that plenty will change between now and early access which will only make it better. To be honest, it feels right, it feels like home. Welcome to Killing Floor 2.

Killing Floor 2 Beta Impressions

I've been playing the Killing Floor 2 beta for a few days now. It's a pretty limited version of the full game so it's hard to come away with a defining opinion, but so far I can safely say that it's more Killing Floor. If you liked the first game you will like this game. If you didn't, then you should hold off until the game is further along before forming an opinion. It will be released into Early Access on Steam, April 21st.

Visually, the differences are clear; the first game sprang from a modification of Unreal Tournament 2004 and all of the GUI was derivative of that game. Here we have a major update, not only in the technology, but also in the sense that it has shed that mod feeling and is now a fully realized game. Their customized build of Unreal Engine 3 is a nice step up from the previous engine and the level of detail has increased substantially. The GUI and server browser are all snappy, modern, and easy to use.

The gameplay is very familiar. Part of that is due to the fact that most creatures (zeds) of KF2 are carried over KF. There's one new creature in the beta, but he's not much different than the lowly clot. There are supposedly other variations being considered. Some zeds have learned new tricks (climbing rails, for instance) and the animation on all has been greatly improved. The boss, Hans, has some unique tactics and is extremely tough. However, he feels very similar to the original's Patriarch boss (who will be returning as well) and I'm hopeful that we will see some unique challenges from the other new boss being added.

One of the most intriguing tweaks they have made to the game is the leveling system. There are still separate classes (perks), but only the medic, berserker, commando, and support are in the beta. Three brand new perks, for a total of 10, are expected to appear at some point. You still passively increase your skills and effectiveness by reaching new levels, but there are now 25 levels instead of 6. I reached my first two levels in roughly 90 minute increments, so you can see that the early milestones come a little more quickly than they did in the first game. In addition to passive skill leveling, every few levels you can also choose talents. These have the potential to allow you to customize your abilities a bit, which is nice.

There are three levels in the beta. No doubt many more will be added. In addition to looking great, each level seems to be a good deal more complex than its predecessors. This is good in that it greatly increases the variety of options you have for retreat, but it also means you'll probably spend a lot less time entrenched in a single spot on the map. It's hard to find a spot that doesn't have at least one disadvantage, and once welded doors have been broken down they are gone for good. Another important change is that it's now possible to sabotage yourself a bit by shooting out light sources. You can see how that might put your team at a disadvantage. I hope that isn't a source of future griefing, but the levels they've included so far have plenty of natural light, and you could probably just move if it became a problem.

You've all seen the videos featuring the gore system and it looks good when spectating, though due to the chaotic nature of the game I can't say that the extra chunks stood out much as I was playing. My favorite part is seeing the levels get increasingly soaked with blood and gore as the rounds went on.

Like I said, it's really early and there are only hints at what will be included in the final game. It's also difficult to tell how the perk changes and unknown new enemies might change the game at this point. Fans should be happy with the upgrade. If you were put off by the older engine when you played before, then you might enjoy this version more. If you didn't like the game the first time, then you're going to want to wait and see how it looks in a few months before making a decision.

Hopefully I'll see some of you out there.

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Killing Floor 2 - Gameplay, Boss Footage

Killing Floor 2 is set to release into Steam Early Access on April 21, 2015. As part of the buildup to release, Tripwire has been busy showing off their latest game to the media.

What they've not shown, however, is one of the reportedly several new boss characters. In this video, hosted by Total Biscuit, you get nearly an hour of gameplay over several levels, one of which ends in a fight with an exoskeleton-wearing antagonist. Looking good!