Friday, March 07, 2008

Alien Arena 2008 and Planeshift 0.400

Hot on the heels of the rather amazing Nexuiz 2.4 release is this years main release of Alien Arena. Alien Arena 2008, or Alien Arena 7.0, or Alien Arena 2008 7.0, however you term it, brings a lot of improvements and new features to a game quickly gaining popularity.

Alien Arena 2008 also offers a change to it's overall theme, moving towards a slightler darker, more serious tone, while still retaining a good bit of it's retro style, creating an interesting marriage between classic and modern sci-fi. This resulted in completely new player models, many new weapon models and textures, and seventeen, yes, seventeen new levels! The transformation is nothing short of remarkable.

There are major improvements in weapon effects, per-pixel lighting, texture resolution, and resource usage, as well as the addition of a cross platform server browser, FUSE. Weapons have been tweaked for better balance, and movement has been enhanced with the addition of dodging abilities. Alien Arena 2008 will run on Windows and Linux, and the OSX/Mac port will be released in one week.

The changes are significant enough that it's considered a different game to Alien Arena 2007. The goal is to "create the perfect marriage between Quake and Unreal Tournament, between retro sci-fi and futuristic tech, and between casual gamer and advanced expert, and wrap it up in a package with quality that could rival that of commercial games". Whilst I haven't played it, from the screenshots and general feedback, it looks like they are well on their way to fulfilling that goal.

Looks spiffy although the trailer doesn't really compare to the Nexuiz trailer - any comments on the differences in gameplay between the two would be welcome.

Hrm, what else.

Planeshift 0.400 "Steel Blue" is out (changelog). Lots of new features, nice semi open source but really freeware project. If you like fantasy RPG / MMO and don't care so much about total software Freedom, check it out. Here's a fanmade trailer for it.