PC Gaming Roundup - February 24, 2008

Square Enix games are heading to Steam, and Paradox Interactive is looking for gamers to test Hearts of Iron III, offering you a little chunk of gaming goodness until I sort through my inbox. Hopefully I won't blow the text off the screen again.

Testers Needed for Hearts of Iron 3
Paradox Interactive is looking for beta testers to give the upcoming game Hearts of Iron III -the company's long-awaited third installment of its World War II strategy series- a hard time. "Hearts of Iron III is now approaching the critical Beta stage of development," the company said.  "The last few months have seen the team stabilizing the foundations of the AI, tightening up the rules and mechanics of the game, along with implementing new artwork and interface features." Apparently, they don't need any goon off the street testing the game, but rather "keen, enthusiastic gamers who are willing to give up a few hours a week to play." Paradox also needs help from historical researchers in order to improve the databases, according to the company.

The Dark Eye: Drakensang Ships
THQ's party-based RPG for the PC The Dark Eye: Drakensang was kicked out the doors, and now heads to your local retail outlet. Based on the popular European pen-and-paper game and developed by the original game's authors, this publication marks the first time the franchise has appeared in the United States. "Featuring stunning vistas and tactical turn-based fights displayed in a real time environment, The Dark Eye: Drakensang takes players on a mystical journey centuries back in time." Players will be able to control four characters within the party, and can even threaten, persuade and charm "through a universe full of unique characters, creatures and locations." Fans can also purchase a digital version of the game over on Gamer's Gate here.

Square Enix Gets Steamy
Publisher Square Enix and Valve jointly announced that The Last Remnant will show up on the Steam service this April 9. Both parties said that Square Enix will continue to add its library of games in the future, providing users with instant access. And because purchased games are tied in to user accounts rather than PC's, gamers can take Square Enix titles anywhere there's a working processor. “We are excited to offer the millions of Steam customers online access to Square Enix titles beginning with our major action RPG, THE LAST REMNANT,” said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix Inc. and Square Enix Ltd.  “Square Enix is committed to delivering the best quality titles to PC gamers and distribution on Steam is one of the many steps we are taking to increase accessibility for fans globally.”

More Square Enix: Last Remnant for PC in March
Along with its marriage to Valve's Steam service came news that Square Enix's upcoming action RPG game for the PC, The Last Remnant, will ship to retail outlets on March 24. The Games for Windows version offers additional new features including Japanese or English voice-overs, improved character animations, the ability to allow multiple leader units to form unions and faster gameplay during battles. “We hope to reach a new audience with the Games for Windows version of THE LAST REMNANT,” said John Yamamoto, president and chief executive officer of Square Enix Inc., and Square Enix Ltd., Square Enix’s European subsidiary. “The work that has been put into this version of the game is truly stunning and I hope that fans enjoy this exciting new adventure.” On a side note, the company also shipped Star Ocean: The Last Hope for the Xbox 360 today.

Three Kingdoms: The Battle Begins Beta Next Week
Uforia is kicking off the North American beta for its upcoming MMOG, Three Kingdoms: The Battle Begins. Based on one of the most famous Asian novels of all time, the game tells the story of the fateful last reign of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), when the Chinese empire was divided into three warring kingdoms. The game offers players a chance to choose from 4 unique character classes to help battle through "200 fantastic levels filled with boss monsters and their relentless minions." Players can rewrite world history by carefully planning and executing political assassinations.  Interested players can sign up for the beta here.

Obulis Goes Digital Soon
Meridian 4 has signed on to help developer IonFX to digitally distribute the physics-based hardcore casual game, Obulis. The game will appear on popular digital distribution channels within the next few weeks including Steam, GamersGate, Direct2Drive and more. With over 150 levels, the object to Obulis is to drop all colored spheres into their like-colored pots. "Spheres are connected to the playfield using chains and ropes and the player must cut these constraints to put the spheres in motion. Doing this will set the level in action by the forces of gravity and physical interaction."

Silkroad Online Update Almost Complete
Joymax reports that the upcoming content update for its historical fantasy MMORPG Silkroad Online -entitled Legend IV: Tomb of the Qin-Shi Emperor- is almost complete and will be ready for launch soon. According to the company, the content update's story goes like this: "BeakYung, the ancient white viper, has accidentally been awakened from her meditation by humans exploring the Tomb of Qin-Shi. The warriors and mages of Silkroad Online must rally together and fight their way through the dungeon’s powerful guardians if they intend to face her wrath and restore order to the imperial tomb." Legend IV brings to the MMORPG a number of new weapons, armor sets, high-level abilities, and a few new quests up on Roc Mountain.

Puzzle Quest Galactrix Now Available
Puzzle fans rejoice! GamersGate announced that D3Publisher's Puzzle Quest Galactrix is now available for purchase and download, offering gamers its signature Match-3, turn based battles that combine both the RPG and Puzzle genres. "Take on the role of a rogue pilot scouring the galaxy to uncover clues in an intergalactic mystery that affects the fate of the entire universe. Build up a fleet of ships, discover hundreds of different weapons, and master the new puzzle board!" Consumers wanting a physical copy can head to any retail outlet, now available via publisher Aspyr Media. Puzzle Quest Galactrix will also hit Xbox Live and PlayStation Network in "early 2009."

Global Agenda Announced
Global Agenda is an upcoming MMOG from Hi-Rez Studios using Epic's Unreal Engine 3 technology. Currently the game is in the alpha stage, and is expected to enter closed beta in Q2 2009. Set during the wake of a severe global disaster in the 22nd century, players create factions, covert agencies, and teams of elite special operatives. The mission: to scheme against each other for power "while simultaneously opposing a totalitarian world government bent on domination." The game pools different types of genres, from the fast-paced action of a multiplayer FPS game to the character progression of a MMORPG, to the player-driven territorial conflict of a strategy game.

Quake Live Now Open For Business
Quake Live is now open for the gaming community, paying homage to the original Qtest released on this day back in 1996 (and unplayable without that darn math co-processor!). Quake Live is a browser-based version of Quake III Arena with many great enhancements and 100 percent free to play. Quake Live includes over fourty arenas, five game modes, and even offline bot matches to get you back up to speed. Honestly, it's good to see Grunt and the Gang back again!

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  • ailgatrat
    Wow!!! "Paradox also needs help from historical researchers in order to improve the databases, as apparently the development team
    slept through History class (not really, it just sounded fun to write)." Let's just make stuff up as we write an article...Who needs facts anyways, right?
  • Tindytim
    Since I can already get this information if I cared to, you'd think the journalism would be good reason I would come here.

    This just prove that horribly wrong.
  • exfileme
    Thanks for your comments. I am always glad to hear back from readers. The Roundup numbers are spectacular, and hopefully we can get Tom's Games back in no time! Thanks again for your support!