That Hellgate VR Game Released, Nobody Noticed

You don’t need a headset to have passed this over.

Continue reading “That Hellgate VR Game Released, Nobody Noticed”

Was Jagex’s Sale Legal? A Chinese Asset Manager Says No

And is suing in London to prove it.

Continue reading “Was Jagex’s Sale Legal? A Chinese Asset Manager Says No”

Impressions: Hellgate London Is Lazy And Incompetent

What else can I say? A whole lot.

Incompetence is a word that has dogged Hellgate: London from the day when Electronic Arts and Flagship thought that a subscription on a Diablo clone would be a guaranteed money maker. Following the completely timely demise of Flagship Studios and the departure of Bill Roper, Hellgate traded hands over to the less incompetent grasp of T3Fun and publisher Hanbitsoft, continuing support in Korea and even releasing expansion content. Hanbitsoft relaunched Hellgate in the west in 2014 and almost immediately put the game on life support until 2016 when the servers finally shut down. It wasn’t ideal, but for those looking to play online at the time, it was their only choice.

With 2019 just around the riverbend, Hanbitsoft has finally brought back Hellgate: Global for what is now the third attempt at resurrecting this dead horse. In spite of the general public attitude, I don’t actually blame Hanbitsoft for not bringing the game back online with functioning multiplayer. This game has failed about three times already as an online service and while launching as a single player only title might burn some bridges, it overall reduces costs on what is guaranteed to ultimately be a failed project and means Hanbitsoft won’t have to go through the process of shutting down servers again when this game inevitably becomes a ghost town in two months.

I know Hellgate fans don’t want to hear this, but the game has as much widespread appeal as a Milli Vanilli reunion, and probably not as much as that. There isn’t any notable commercial success to be had with this IP, and I say that as someone who owns all three novels.

While it is no secret that T3Fun took the Korean Hellgate: Global (see the character’s haircuts) and basically lobotomized its online play to re-release as a standalone single player game, they didn’t so much add a new coat of paint as they did cross out the “multiplayer” in Sharpie and write “singelpleyur”. The online play may be gone, but the intrusive chat screen is still there and boy does it like popping up every time you change levels even though you keep hiding it. Also present are the achievements tasking you with killing and being killed by other players of specific classes and that 30% experience boost that never seems to go away. The ability to fail in your equipment forging is still there, I don’t know why and I hope someone hacks the game and releases a patch to fix it. This feature only exists so shady publishers like Hanbitsoft can push cash shop items, and it doesn’t make sense in a single player game that doesn’t have a cash shop.

One positive of this is that all of the microtransactions (what few there were) from Hellgate: Global have been removed. Many of the cash shop items that were in Global are now available for purchase from in-game vendors. You’ll definitely want to keep a large number of auto-dismantlers on you as they are cheap (20ea) and stack by the thousands, and there is that guy in the Greenwich town hub that hands out daily one-hour auto-dismantlers.

But let’s talk about the big issue:

Hellgate: London also suffers from a massive, game breaking bug right now where the game drops to 1-2 frames per second and will stay there for extended periods of time. I’m talking minutes at length. I played this on a desktop computer loaded with an Nvidia 1080 FTW, an i5-4460 3.2ghz, and 32gb of installed ram. I’ve also played through every iteration of Hellgate: London and have never seen this before, although I have seen people claiming that this issue was also present in the prior iteration of Hellgate: Global specifically on Windows 8 and 10 computers.

I kept an eye on the game as it stuttered and found that it never went outside of the general 1.1-1.3 gigs of ram usage, so it’s not an issue with my hardware. I did find a post on the forums mentioning that running the process in compatibility mode for Windows 7 should help. It didn’t.

The problem seems to stem from specific enemies that are causing the game to chug to a halt, because it isn’t remedied by looking at the ground as is a popular fix for games where certain textures being rendered on screen can slow everything down. I have also come across a few other game breaking bugs, including one where certain equipment slots will blank out and keep the item equipped, but you can’t see or use it and the game won’t let you equip anything in that slot until it just randomly fixes itself, which can’t be done by rebooting the game.

If you’re a fan of Hellgate and don’t mind missing out on the expansion content, take this suggestion: Get yourself a copy of the original retail edition and install London 2038, which reenables online play and is currently in open alpha.

If you really want to play Hellgate with Global’s added content, sit this one out until T3Entertainment fixes it, which there is no guarantee they ever will. Until then, give this a pass.

Hellgate: London Launches To Steam, No Tokyo Content For Launch

Hellgate: London is back, again, again, and this time it is hitting Steam as a single player only game with the Tokyo expansion that Hanbitsoft added on after Flagship Studios went bankrupt. There are no microtransactions or cash shop items, and the game is available for a single purchase of $12.99 with a launch sale of 25% down to $9.74.

There is one caveat, and that is that the Tokyo content will not be available right now. The team is working on stability in the main quest and will release it as a free update.

As it was mentioned before, HELLGATE: London Steam Version has the latest update client of the Tokyo Version, which has all improved UI / UX / Content. However, due to internal circumstances, Tokyo content is temporarily unavailable in order to provide you with a smooth gameplay. Once stability of the Tokyo Main Quest is settled, you will receive a notice for FREE UPDATE. Until then you can still enjoy playing London, Stonehenge, Second Attack and Abyss maps.

MMO Fallout will have an impressions piece up in the next couple of days.

(Source: Steam)

Review: Antihero

(Copy obtained from publisher)

Mathilde can’t keep up. For every street urchin she sends to the Bastard’s Bath or Millstone to desperately scrape together some cash, my gang will find them and beat them back into hiding. Any thugs she uses to block the streets or gangs to route out my urchin children will be murdered and left for the rats. I’ve bribed politicians, assassinated those who couldn’t be bought, pulled strings with the church for the purpose of blackmail, and if I have to I’ll hire a Truant Officer to evict those urchins.

But that’s not necessary, because I can throw in another bribe and win the match.

Antihero is a turn based strategy game of wits set in Victorian London where you take the role of a master thief and utilize the city’s underside to expand your empire and drive others out. You do this by playing dirty, hiring street urchins to infiltrate places for the purpose of extortion, bribery, and blackmail, killing your enemies, and generally being a lethal pain in the rear. Antihero was developed by Tim Conkling and at the time this is published, will be available on Steam.

Artistically speaking, Antihero showcases a pleasant style with characters whose heads are disproportionately larger than the rest of their bodies. Animations are quick and exaggerated, and overall the aesthetic of the game feels like it’s been directly pulled from a children’s book. Characters are well stylized caricatures of what you’d expect from a Victorian London game, and while the campaign mode’s bosses are effectively one-dimensional stereotypes, they go as far as needed to convey what they are and how they will generally act.

Each turn your master thief has a limited number of moves which can be used to infiltrate buildings, burgle them, assassinate opponents, and generally thieve around. As you progress through each turn, you’ll gradually accumulate more of the game’s two currencies: Gold and lanterns, which in turn can be used to buy minions and upgrades which make it easier to obtain gold and lanterns. Your thief him/herself is also reliant on upgrades to provide more actions and better damage, and over the course of the match becomes more useful and powerful.

What makes Antihero a thinking man’s game is that it really requires you to have a plan and be willing to act on it with the limited resources at your disposal. Using your gang to clear a building of urchins means not using him to strike your opponent’s gang, or take out an assassination target, but it does starve your opponent of much needed coins/lanterns to inhibit his next turn. Likewise, thugs can be placed around the map to block passages and force your opponent to waste a turn killing them, but they can’t be moved once placed and only last a few rounds. Your thief, while able to do more per turn, is still reliant on the law of opportunity cost. Should you scout the map early, revealing buildings held by enemy urchins, scout your own buildings to allow your urchins to infiltrate and start generating money, or burgle buildings to generate short term cash, or all of the above at the cost of efficient short term growth?

While it can be easy to get ahead in Antihero, staying ahead is a delicate balance of resources that can just as easily be knocked over at the drop of a hat. Your gang gets more powerful as you beat up urchins and murder, but they never become so powerful that a master thief and their own gang can’t take him down in a turn, if they’re willing to dedicate the resources to it. Urchins can be evicted, meaning you can lose that church bribe at any given moment, and assassin targets regularly walk the streets allowing for some late game changing victory points if you can get to them fast enough.

One aspect that I really like about Antihero is the return of the long forgotten casual online mode. Back in the days of crappy dial-up connections, playing a game like Antihero wasn’t viable if you had to be connected at all times, and developers understood that, for what is essentially a board game, people want a more casual style. Antihero lets you have your cake and eat it too, with an online mode with both players present, as well as a casual mode where you can make your move and shut the game off, and take your turn when you get around to it.

Ultimately, Antihero is a pretty great game that is easy to learn and difficult to master. Check out the launch trailer below for gameplay footage.

Recommendation: Two thumbs up.

Hellgate Multiplayer Is Coming Back: Again!

hellgate 2015-08-05 22-36-58-74

Hellgate has had a rough past, developed by Flagship Studios, released in October 2007 and shut down in February 2009 by Flagship Studios before being picked up by eastern publisher Hanbitsoft and relaunched in the west only to be shut down again at the beginning of this year. Thankfully this time around the game is being revived by the community, meaning that players can rest assured that certain aspects won’t be changed to support a cash shop.

The first developer diary is available at the link below, along with a list of what is currently working. Before you do, check out the MP test video below. While the multiplayer is currently offline, those of you lucky enough to find a copy of Hellgate (or who still own yours) can play the single player game improved massively thanks to its community.

(Source: Hellgate)

Hellgate On Steam Greenlight


For a game that has been in maintenance mode since 2012, Hellgate Global is a very fun title and completely free now that the full game and Tokyo expansion are available for free. In an effort to expand the game’s audience to those who have never heard of it or assumed that the game was still offline under Flagship Studios, T3Fun has put Hellgate Global on bid for Steam Greenlight. You can head on over to the game’s Greenlight page (linked below) to vote on bringing the title to Steam.

Or you can just go over to the official website and play it now.

(Source: Greenlight)

%d bloggers like this: