Week Roundup: Info on Guild Wars 2, and vouchers

Here is a roundup for the week at GMG



Events at GMG you should read about:

  • Guild Wars 2 – On Retail Keys and Pre-Purchase Keys, to clear up any confusion. If you have bought a digital copy (i.e., if you’ve bought from GMG) you do not need two keys. The post here talking about retail keys only applies to North American retail stores, not Green Man Gaming.

  • A related notice – We have no ETA on receiving further stock for Guild Wars 2, but if you follow our blog you’ll see when we announce that we have more.

  • Dark Souls in Australia & New Zealand – as we’ve had a few people continuing to ask about this, please see this post.

Deals for the weekend:
  • Sleeping Dogs and Darksiders 2 are both 30% off when you use this code GMG30-916H7-0TG16, valid until 1100 UTC September 2nd

  • We notice that it’s almost Labor Day in the USA! To mark this, from 1100 UTC September 2nd (and not a moment before) until 1100 UTC September 4th you can get 25% off of anything with GMG25-LABOR-DAYGO




What we’ve been playing:
  • Rik – “I just passed 400 wins in League of Legends!”

  • Nat – “Getting a Platinum Trophy for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs on PS3!”

  • Catherine – “Got my 1000 points on LEGO Batman 2 recently, last few were a real slog fest of finding gold bricks in obscure places.”

  • George – “Finally getting the Shelby Daytona in Forza 4! (5m credits)”

  • James P. – “I managed to get my character in Skyrim to stop glowing purple all the time and having green spikes instead of eyes."

What we’ve been looking at:




-James

Community Manager

Borderlands 2, as explained by Sir Hammerlock

Hey everyone,

Definitely check this trailer out, as it explains everything that will make Borderlands 2 absolutely awesome.


I think my favourite part is the explanation of the homing grenade that.. well.. you'll see! It's only seven minutes, take a break from that hard work!

You can also pre-purchase Borderlands 2 now from Green Man Gaming.

-James

From Gratification to Horror

Recently, I have wondered: Is it a good thing if a game makes you feel uncomfortable?

The majority of games reward destruction and violence. All games need to provide a challenge or obstacle to overcome, and the easiest way to do this is visually, typically through combat. Possibly holding a gun.

Now that’s not a criticism of violence in games. To be honest, I believe that violent games are cathartic and help relieve any aggression I might have (but as I’m lovely I rarely have any).  I’m sure there are many titles that we all rate highly for their ability to make an engaging and exhilarating experience.

The recent Sleeping Dogs, for example, made trying to aim for tire shots, or fire off a headshot in slow motion, a very enjoyable experience.  When combined with the Arkham City style combat of combos and counters it made for a high quality game that didn’t grow tedious.

Equally, it’s difficult to resist an epic battle when you have a massive as hell sword or something.



But then I think of games such as Walking Dead, Telltale’s point and click takes a different approach. By putting you in a scenario of life and death, with urgency, and placing you in the driving seat of protagonist Lee, you have to make decisions that you might ultimately regret, and a couple that might make you a little bit horrified. Anyone who has played Episode 2 will know what I’m talking about – no spoilers, but I thoroughly recommend everyone check it out. The game becomes a question of morals.



Admittedly comparing a point-and-click game to shooters and action games is like comparing apples and oranges – they’re completely different genres that rarely have any overlap in terms of story and setting.  So let’s use a more applicable game…

Darkness II is when it seems like the attempt at gratification goes to an extreme.  Standard gameplay has you ripping people in half using demonic tentacles, occasionally executing a move called “Assecution,” which I won’t go into.

That said, there’s a little moment of joy whenever you could aim a pipe and impale someone against a wall, but I wonder if it does go too far, and indeed if many other games do too.

After discussing it with a couple of people in the team, I found there is a distinction to be made in Darkness II compared to other games that still have high levels of gore.

As an example of gore, Dead Island places you in the position of a survivor, as most zombie games do, and you’ll proceed to batter, shoot, set aflame and otherwise destroy undead across the island.  The difference between Dead Island and Darkness II is that in the latter you’re not killing mindless zombies. If it’s undead it’s likely that our morality would say it’s okay to destroy it. It’s not human and it’s trying to kill us.  Playing as Jackie in Darkness II, you’re tearing people apart, with complete looks of terror on their faces. They’re people who are scared out of their wits.

What do you think? What makes it uncomfortable, is it the introduction of morals even if they come from you rather than the game? Is it good for games to make you feel uncomfortable?

-James

Guild Wars 2 AKA When you can play



Hey all,

The core information for you guys regarding Guild Wars 2 start times, in case you haven't seen it via the Guild Wars 2 site yet:

  • 3-day headstart access will officially begin at 0000 AM Pacific Time (UTC/GMT -7) on August 25th

  • Those without headstart access will be able to play at 0000 AM Pacific Time (UTC/GMT -7) ON August 28th

  • All keys are registered at the following address: http://register.guildwars2.com/


We have distributed all headstart access keys to customers. Delivery of keys without headstart access will begin at 0100 UTC (please do not panic if your key does not arrive immediately), approximately 6 hours before launch.  During this time, users can activate their key and begin downloading the client, but will not be able to login until the official launch.

If it helps, one user helped by posting the official download link for the client on our forum. Grab it here.



For those who have purchased physical copies of Guild Wars 2: We do not offer any early access for this product. You should receive your product on the 28th.



-James

Community Manager

Week Roundup: Dishonored, Sniper Challenge & More


 Here is a roundup for the week at GMG

Events at GMG you should read about:

Deals for the weekend:
  • 20% off anything in August with DERHE-RRDER-RINGE. You can use this multiple times. It will expire at 2259 UTC August 31st. Grab Dark Souls, Sleeping Dogs or Darksiders 2 for a brilliant price you won’t see anywhere else on digital.
  • Zombie Driver is 75% off from 1100 UTC August 24th for 24 hours
  • The Journey Down: Chapter One is 75% off from 1100 UTC August 25th for 24 hours
  • The Guild 2: Platinum Edition is 75% off from 1100 UTC August 27th for 24 hours


What we’ve been playing:
  • Clayton – Max Payne 3  - “If I get time”
  • James (AKA Tech James) – Orcs Must Die “So many orcs to kill in so many inefficient ways.”
  • Mark – Civilization V – “My Nuke & Aircraft Carrier x10 ASAP strategy remains unbeatable.”
  • Catherine – Skyrim – “Caught vampirism and am searching for a cure!" 
What we’ve been looking at:


-James
Community Manager

Playfire Favourite: Sleeping Dogs



 In a time where open-world games seem to be in abundance, Sleeping Dogs stands out and brings something fresh to the table.

Story

Sleeping Dogs throws you straight into action as you start the game with a drug deal gone wrong and police quickly chase you. This is when you are revealed to be an undercover cop and you know from that moment on, your loyalty will be tested.

Whilst parts of the well-paced plot are predictable, some I can’t mention due to spoilers, United Front Games have done a great job on keeping you on the edge of your seat.

Explaining the plot to someone can be as easy as saying you’re a cop who’s trying to infiltrate the Triads and this sounds pretty straightforward, right?  Wrong. You will constantly be changing your mind on who you think is in the right but nothing is black and white and the story is filled with betrayal, shifting loyalties and, this may be a shock to some of you, family.



Characters

The characters are very well fleshed out through masses of dialogue and your relationships with them.  Our protagonist, Wei Shen, is haunted with past experiences that he’s failed to escape. He enrols in the police force after an incident concerning his sister and blames Triad gangs for her death.  You’ll be meeting with members from both the Sun On Yee and the Hong Kong Police Department which both have their own unique way of dealing with things.

The Sun On Yee are a much more violent group but treasure family and relationships, classing their group as a family.  The police feel that they can do whatever they like to infiltrate the Triad groups and take them down from the inside by using Wei Shen but not everybody agrees with them.

Gameplay

The combat is the main focus and it is brilliant, it features striking similarities to Rocksteady’s Batman titles with its free-flow fighting making it easy to string up combos, violent finishing moves and counters.  You can also use weapons such as kitchen knives and batons, which are much more effective than your hands and cannot be blocked.



The brutal finishing moves really stand out but Sleeping Dogs managed to make me cringe and sometimes I had to look away when I was placing enemies in to incinerators, ice chippers, fans and hooks. The moves are spectacularly well done and are one of the best aspects of Sleeping Dogs and you’ll constantly be using the environment to finish off your enemies.

Driving is enjoyable and makes you feel as if you have complete control of your vehicle.  You can drive cars, motorbikes, and buses, which all vary in speed, turning ability and they are also set in to classes if you wish to partake in a street race.  The street races themselves offer variation but you will probably find yourself ramming other drivers as the rubber-banding always sees them not far behind you.

The gunplay is the weakest point of the gameplay, feeling slightly loose and the aiming reticule on all guns is quite large, making it feel that weaponry isn’t very accurate although it’s still very easy, and satisfying, to pull off a headshot.  Pistols and small machine guns are the most common firearms but grenade launchers, assault riles, shotguns and other guns are also available to you. The hand-to-hand combat is much more thrilling, though.
There are various side-missions to complete too including dates with various women, offering your help to civilians, drug busts and, my favourite, karaoke.

Collecting statues and gaining respect from people is how you gain hand-to-hand and other fighting related upgrades. You will gain health upgrades by praying at health shrines placed all over Hong Kong.

Graphics

Considering how big the game is, Sleeping Dogs manages to look outstanding. It has a great draw distance, character animations are top-notch and the weather is always changing. The rain on the Hong Kong backdrop looks sublime; it soaks through Shen’s clothing, patters off of the floor and vehicles and it makes Hong Kong look incredibly beautiful at night.



The lighting and scenery are brilliant, giving Hong Kong an authentic look and helps form a new playground that isn’t featured much in other titles where wastelands, mountains, and forests take precedence.

The frame rate is consistently good but there are issues with things looking blurry at times, especially when it’s dark. It’s never noticeable enough to be a serious issue and it will not detract any enjoyment that the game offers.

Audio

The voice acting is spectacular and features star talent including Emma Stone, Lucy Liu, Will Yun Lee and Tom Wilkinson.  They all lend their voices to bring their respective characters to life in a way that perhaps other voice actors could not.

A nice addition is the broken English that some of the citizens have, especially when trying to sell you clothing or food.  The whole city is alive with civilians calling out to you to buy pork buns, T-shirts, jeans, soup and more.  To add to this, they will be disgruntled or appreciative depending on your decision to buy or not.

Most of the dialogue is English but Cantonese is also mixed in and so I highly recommend you have subtitles on so you can understand what is being said at all times.

Karaoke makes for a hilarious addition and you’ll want to see Shen sing Take On Me by A-Ha several times. Lee, voice of Shen, sings the tracks himself and isn’t half bad!



Lasting Appeal

There is no multiplayer and it’s a shame because with the street races and various forms of combat available, I think an online component would have been popular. There are leaderboards where you can compare challenges with people from your friends list and around the world.  The type of things you’ll compete in include who can drive the longest without hitting anything and longest kill-streak.

The story is a decent length, clocking in around 10 hours, and there are plenty of side-missions that will keep you busy but if side-missions aren’t your thing, then the gorgeous city and enthralling story will still make your purchase worthwhile and I fully recommend it.

Mitchell is a freelance journalist, Senior Moderator at Playfire. You can find more of his work at http://mitchjay92.blogspot.co.uk/ or contact him at www.playfire.com/mitchjay1992.

Interested in following the buzz behind Sleeping Dogs? Click here.

New to GMG: Dishonored


Find here a list of new games available on Green Man Gaming over the past week:

Dishonored* - "You are a supernatural assassin driven by revenge." What ISN'T awesome about that?!

War of the Roses – Available with a discount for pre-purchases on the Deluxe version

Tower Wars – Available with a 10% discount





And remember there is still a 20% code available until the end of the month!




GMG Trivia: Remember you can always check What’s New on GMG with this link.

-James
Community Manager

*We may not be able to sell this game in your region due to external restrictions.

Hitman Sniper Challenge


For the attention of those who bought Hitman Absolution:

Due to confusion over availability of the Sniper Challenge we have taken extra steps to help everyone out.

Everyone who was eligible to receive a copy of Sniper Challenge from Green Man Gaming, should now have a key for Sniper Challenge in their account (check your Keys section for Hitman Absolution in your account).

As an important note, this does not apply to any North American orders. Another company secured an exclusive deal to distribute Sniper Challenge in this region, as such there is nothing we can do.

To redeem this code please go to the following URL, register and redeem it for a Steam key:



We hope this helps.

-James
Community Manager

New Deals: August 20th


Hey gamers,
This weekend I was playing a combination of (a lot) of Dungeons of Dredmor, Binary Domain, and some Sleeping Dogs. I anticipate I’ll be running a lot of people into phone booths and dumpsters this coming week.  How about you guys? One of the last week’s big releases: Sleeping Dogs or Darksiders 2?


If you’ve not had much to play, then stay prepared for these deals on GMG this week:

  • Waveform is 75% off until 1100 UTC August 21st
  • The Ball is 75% off from 1100 UTC August 21st until 1100 UTC August 22nd
  • Three Dead Zed is 75% off from 1100 UTC August 22nd until 1100 UTC August 23rd
  • A New Beginning is 70% off from 1100 UTC August 23rd until 1100 UTC August 24th

And remember we still also have a 20% code available until the end of the month, and if you’re stuck for things to use it on, I’ll just recommend what I’ve been playing as good fun:
  • Binary Domain – Kill lots of robots that are sort of like Terminators. Lots of breaking the fourth wall by the main character, Dan. See proof below.
  • Sleeping Dogs – Haven’t played that much, but the combat is fun and the story looks like it’ll get interesting. For a fuller view you can check out what RPS think. It’s also hit the top of the UK charts this week.
  • Frozen Synapse – The ultimate exercise in paranoia.

DERHE-RRDER-RINGE



 Just make sure to use the code before the end of the month.

-James
Community Manager