1. Computing

Game Previews

The next big game may not be far off, and if you follow the news you may see it coming. Previews, beta impressions, and interviews with game developers are also good ways to find out whether an upcoming release might interest you.

World of Warplanes Beta Impressions
A preview of the multiplayer online game World of Warplanes from Wargaming.

MechWarrior Online Beta Impressions
A preview of MechWarrior Online, an upcoming online mech shooter from Piranha Games.

The Elder Scrolls Online Primer
An introduction to The Elder Scrolls Online, an upcoming MMORPG from ZeniMax Online Studios.

War Thunder Beta Impressions
War Thunder is an aerial combat game based on the planes of World War II. These are my beta impressions of this new title from Gaijin Entertainment.

Firefall Beta Impressions
These are my first impressions of Firefall, an upcoming MMOFPS from Red 5 Studios.

ArcheAge Primer
An introduction to the new sandbox-style MMORPG ArcheAge, which is being developed by XLGames of Korea.

WildStar Primer
WildStar is an upcoming MMORPG from Carbine Studios and NCsoft. This is an introduction to some of the game's central features.

PlanetSide 2 Beta Impressions
PlanetSide 2 is a massively multiplayer shooter from Sony Online Entertainment, which will launch on November 20, 2012. These are my first impressions of the game after spending some time in the beta test.

TERA Online Beta Impressions
These are my beta impressions of TERA, a MMORPG from En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole Studios.

The Secret World Primer
Funcom's new MMORPG The Secret World is due to arrive in the summer of 2012. Find out more about the game in this preview.

TERA Online Primer
TERA is a Korean-developed MMORPG that will arrive in North America and Europe in May of 2012. If you're not familiar with the game, this is an introduction to its core features.

Diablo 3 Beta Impressions
Diablo 3 will arrive in 2012, and I've been frantically clicking my way through the closed beta. Here are my impressions of what I've seen of the game so far.

Tribes: Ascend Beta Impressions
It has been a long wait for an addition to the Tribes series, but Hi-Rez Studios is making it happen with Tribes: Ascend. These are my first impressions of the game after playing the closed beta test.

Diablo 3 Primer
Diablo 3 will be the first addition to the legendary Diablo series in over a decade. Anticipation is brewing over this upcoming action-RPG, so here are some details on this new title from Blizzard.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Beta Impressions
Bioware's highly-anticipated MMORPG, Star Wars: The Old Republic, is due for launch on December 20th and they've been stress testing the game on weekends. Having participated in one of these tests, I thought I'd share my first impressions of The Old Republic.

Firefall Primer
Firefall is an online shooter set in a post-apocalyptic world being developed by Red 5 Studios. This is a primer on what we currently know about this upcoming game.

PlanetSide 2 Primer
A new entry in the PlanetSide franchise is bound to get some attention from shooter fans, many of whom have warm memories of huge battles in the original game. PlanetSide 2 is on the way, and this is a summary of what we know about the sequel so far.

Battlefield 3 Beta Impressions (PC)
The open beta for Battlefield 3 was an opportunity for fans to get some hands-on time with this new military shooter. Following a week of bullet-riddled encounters in the game, I've written up my first impressions of this highly-anticipated sequel.

Battlefield 3 Primer
Battlefield 3 is one of the most highly-anticipated shooters of 2011, and DICE is aiming to breathe new life into this cherished franchise. Here is a preview of the game's central features.

Hands-on Preview: Gemini Rue (PC)
If you follow the indie gaming scene, Gemini Rue will likely look familiar. It was one of the featured games in the student showcase at last year's Independent Games Festival, when it was known as Boryokuden Rue. But with a new (much more pronounceable) name and a publisher in the form of Wadjet Eye Games (who you might remember from Puzzle...

First Look Preview: CityVille (Facebook)
Just four months after the release of the very popular FrontierVille, developer Zynga has announced its next social blockbuster: CityVille. And though the game isn't yet available, it looks to be Zynga's biggest yet. Here's what we know about the game so far.

E3 2010 Highlights
E3 has struggled a little with its won identity in recent years, and in 2010 it seemed to reverse course, getting some its mojo back. The big three - Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft - staged large press conferences, and the L.A. Convention Center was inundated with video games and booth babes once again. Consoles have dominated the event for quite a while, and this year was no exception, but there…

StarCraft 2 Preview
A sequel to StarCraft, perhaps the most highly-regarded multiplayer RTS game of all time, is no small event. It's hard to understate the impact that StarCraft had on the genre, or the dedication of the incredible cult following that has grown around the game in the decade since its release, especially in Korea. Here we are some 12 years after the original game launched, and StarCraft 2 is undergo…

Hands-on Preview: EA Sports FIFA Superstars (Facebook)
With World Cup in South Africa fever only two weeks away, Playfish has released its first collaboration with EA Sports, EA Sports FIFA Superstars. The Facebook game lets players slowly build up a team of real world soccer stars and take on some of the most famous clubs in the world. It's light on action, as you don't actually play any games, but instead focuses on the process of developing the be…

Star Wars: The Old Republic Primer
There have been many video games inspired by the beloved "Star Wars" franchise over the years, no doubt because swinging a lightsaber and blasting enemy ships in a TIE fighter are just the sort of things action games were made for. Can this popular IP be adapted into a blockbuster MMORPG? Round 1: Star Wars Galaxies. Round 2: LucasArts teams up...

Age of Conan Beta Impressions
With a unique combat system that includes mounts, city building, and siege warfare, Age of Conan is an ambitious project by any standard. Can one title pull all of this off and make it fun? It's hard to say until some big guilds start reaching the end game, but here are my thoughts on the introductory levels of Age of Conan.

Aion Preview
NCsoft established itself as a giant among MMORPG developers with the Lineage series, which remains one of the most popular games in the Asian market. North America and Europe have proven to be a little more challenging for them, despite the relative success of Guild Wars and City of Heroes. Aion is their next big offering, and it's already doing well in Korea. These are my first impressions of the game based on playing the North American beta test.

Auto Assault Beta Impressions
It's always nice to see a developer taking a few risks and doing something different in the massively multiplayer game space. Auto Assault hasn't simply replaced elves with cars, it has undertaken some fundamental changes in combat mechanics and brings novel PvP elements to the table. Besides that, you get to drive like a terrorist and blow things up real good, which can't help but add to the fun.

Battlefield 2142 Preview
The Battlefield series is moving into a future setting with some very high-tech weaponry, and Battlefield 2142 will also introduce the first new gameplay mode this franchise has seen in a long time, so I was anxious to give it a try. Here are my impressions of the game from playing the recent beta test.

BattleForge Preview (PC)
What happens when you take a real-time strategy game and cross it with an online collectible card game? You get BattleForge, an upcoming title being developed by EA Phenomic in Germany. BattleForge is set in a fantasy realm full of exotic creatures and magic, and has online features not unlike MMOGs. Here are my first impressions of the game from playing the beta.

Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach Beta Impressions
Any game with Dungeons & Dragons in the title is bound to catch the interest of fans of the classic pen-and-paper RPG. Turbine is bringing the D&D ruleset and a new level of tactical detail to this virtual recreation of Eberron. Is there room for it in the crowded world of multiplayer online roleplaying games?

Guild Wars Beta Impressions
If you're tired of online RPGs that follow the EverQuest formula, Guild Wars could be the innovation you've been looking for. Over 400,000 people took part in the recent preview event, and I was one of them. This upcoming game takes a refreshingly different approach, but it also faces a staggering amount of competition. Here are my first impressions of Guild Wars.

Hands-on Preview: Flutter (Facebook)
As a division of NHNZ -- a natural history focused documentary production company based out of New Zealand -- it's no surprise that developer Runaway Play's first game has such a huge focus on the natural world. Currently in an open beta, Flutter lets you explore a lush tropical rainforest while playing as a butterfly. And though there isn't a whole lot to do at the moment, the potential is defin…

Hands-on Preview: Hotel City (Facebook)
Following in the footsteps of the very popular Restaurant City, developer Playfish has released a similarly themed game on Facebook: Hotel City. As you'd expect, this latest release shifts the scene to hotel management. But while Hotel City sports the same charming production values as its culinary cousin, at this point, it's in no way as engaging.

Hands-on Preview: The Tarot's Misfortune (PC)
For the most part, hidden-object games all feel pretty similar. There are different themes and stories, and various gameplay tweaks that developers throw in to try and spice things up, but the actual game always revolves around spotting hard-to find objects amongst a mess of other objects. It's a tried-and-true formula that has worked well across numerous games. And The Tarot's Misfortune doesn't…

Lord of the Rings Online Beta Impressions
Arguably the mother of all fantasy franchises, "The Lord of the Rings" is being adapted into a MMORPG that is scheduled for release at the end of April. The game intends to give us a social online gaming experience in Middle-earth without completely butchering the famous story we all know and love. I took part in the recent stress test of the game to get a better look.

Pirates of the Caribbean Online Preview
Games based on film franchises are often a disappointment, but this hasn't deterred Disney from developing Pirates of the Caribbean Online, a MMORPG that's closely tied to Jack Sparrow and his adventures on the high seas.

Star Trek Online Preview (PC)
Star Trek Online is taking on one of the most well-known sci-fi franchises of all time, and, as you can imagine, Cryptic Studios is under tremendous pressure to get it right. There's a lot of information about this upcoming MMORPG scattered across interviews, game videos, and the official forums, so here's a quick summary of what we know about Star Trek Online so far.

Tabula Rasa Preview
It takes guts to try and do something different in the increasingly crowded MMOG space, but Richard Garriott and the designers of Tabula Rasa went back to the drawing board for a fresh approach. The result is a sci-fi persistent world where you take on hostile aliens using a unique combat system that blends roleplaying and shooter game mechanics.

Ten Days in the New Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies has seen a lot of controversial changes in the two years since it's release, but the recent implementation of the New Game Enhancements have enraged the community like nothing before. I decided to download the free trial and experience the game redesign for myself. It didn't take long for this seemingly enjoyable little project to turn into a trial of my patience.

The Chronicles of Spellborn First Impressions (PC)
One of Acclaim's latest projects in a new post-apocalyptic fantasy MMORPG called The Chronicles of Spellborn. It's an original IP with a story that involves 2 races, Humans and Daevi, who are re-emerging thousands of years after a cosmic magical event cast the world into darkness. It may look like dozens of other MMORPGs at first glance, so let's explore some of the ways Spellborn breaks the mold.

The Matrix Online Beta Impressions
I've been jacking into The Matrix Online for a little while now and watching my character execute elaborate "wire-fu" moves on the enemy has been much more fun than I expected. The game is going into the final rounds of beta testing, with the release date now set at March 22nd in the US and April 8th in Europe. Here's a glimpse of life as a Redpill inside The Matrix.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Beta Impressions
If you played EverQuest, you're probably following the development of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, because key members of the original EverQuest team are involved in the project. Vanguard is very close to the end of beta testing, with a release scheduled for January 30th. I had a chance to do some exploring in Telon and see what this new online world has to offer.

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Preview
Ever since World of Warcraft was released in 2004, it has proven difficult for new MMORPGs to gain any traction, with a few exceptions. Now the IP that inspired Warcraft is getting a MMORPG of its own - Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.

World of Warcraft Beta Impressions
World of Warcraft has taken the MMORPG genre by storm. These are my first impressions of this exceptionally popular game.

Hands-on Preview: Oceanopolis (Facebook)
The green movement continues to push its way into gaming, this time with a new Facebook title by the name of Oceanopolis. In it, you're tasked with cleaning up a tiny island, recycling all of the trash you find, and improving the island through new buildings, plant life, and other accessories. The game recently came out of a closed beta, and...

Hands-on Preview: Heaven's Diner (Facebook)
There are plenty of excellent restaurant management games on Facebook already, from Cafe World to Restaurant City. But what the social network doesn't have is a great, traditional time management style game. Now it does. Heaven's Diner is like a bite sized, simplified version of Diner Dash, but with a heavenly makeover.

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