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    by Published on May 15th, 2017 02:00 AM
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    The majority of bestselling video games belong to a franchise, and it often comes as a surprise to today's gamers that most of these multiplatform franchises originated as PC exclusive games. In this article, we present a list of multiplatform game franchises that originated on PC, usually with their first game (but sometimes more) being PC exclusive at least for a year. We will also discuss the impact that becoming multiplatform had on each franchise.

    The impact of multiplatform success was usually significant and the older games in each franchise are usually quite different than the newer games; this is because the very first game in each franchise was designed to be unique in order to stand out and capture an audience, but as time went on they conformed to the changing gaming industry, which in this day and age means dumbing down the game in all aspects, removing content in order to spend as little money as possible on the game, and reusing the same formula (with all its restrictions) that other successful games in the genre use. For this reason, the older games in every franchise shouldn't be skipped, as they almost always offer something different and typically they offer more.

    While other popular franchises did not begin as PC exclusive, most of them still trace their design back to PC exclusive games (excluding games originating from Japan of course), like BioShock being a spiritual successor to the PC exclusive System Shock franchise. There are also franchises like StarCraft that fit the criteria of this article, but we do not think it is necessary to include them since their popularity on consoles is not great enough. Everyone already knows they originated on PC.




    Franchise Name: Battlefield
    First Release: Battlefield 1942
    First Release Date: 2002
    Genre: FPS
    Developer: DICE
    Publisher: Electronic Arts

    Battlefield is one of the most popular multiplayer shooter franchises today. Its popularity skyrocketed with the release of Battlefield 3 in 2011, largely due to it being an impressive technological showcase. Its most recent release was Battlefield 1, poorly named but popular nonetheless, and seen as a bit of a turnaround for the franchise due to it having a much more stable launch than Battlefield 4 and not being poorly received like Battlefield: Hardline was. Although its single player campaign is poor, repetitive, and historically inaccurate, and its multiplayer is pathetic for a PC game.

    But the first game in this franchise was Battlefield 1942, which was not a modern warfare game as one may expect. That's right, it took place in World War II, and believe it or not it predates Call of Duty (and Medal of Honor predates both).

    Battlefield 1942 was not the only PC exclusive Battlefield game however. The first three sequels, Battlefield Vietnam, Battlefield 2, and Battlefield 2142 were all PC exclusive. Four games, four different settings, making for excellent variety and a very strong start to the franchise.

    How did these games compare to Battlefield today? They featured the same core game modes and sometimes more, like Titan in BF2142 which is the favorite of many Battlefield players ...
    by Published on April 28th, 2017 01:00 PM
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    Way back in March of 2007 a fairly small studio in Ukraine unleashed S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and introduced the world of PC gaming to The Zone.

    It is no secret that this game is very well regarded here on GND-Tech and with good reason. This PC exclusive cult classic from 2007 is one of the most interesting and ambitious game projects of all time and a show of force for gaming's potential as a unique art form.

    A very interesting blend of genres, this open world FPS with survival horror elements and some mild RPG inspiration was well received by both critics and fans alike. Despite a troubled and long development cycle and numerous delays, a long list of cut features and many bugs and glitches, it seems like Shadow of Chernobyl has managed to carve out its very own niche in gaming. A series retrospective is in the works, as are articles on its sequels—S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.:Call of Pripyat, but today we will be focusing on what the first legendary title did right and where it faltered.



    Running on the in-house 32-bit X-Ray 1.0 engine that was created way back in 2001, the game was vaunted as a technological powerhouse during its E3 2003 and 2004 appearances. Managing to impress even in the face of games like Half-Life 2, DOOM 3, and Far Cry is an incredible accomplishment, especially when you consider that X-Ray is made by developers without prior experience in the mainstream AAA FPS gaming world. However, the game's development hell meant that it would not see the light of day for a few more years. Of course, the developers did improve on its visuals during that time and Shadow of Chernobyl (hereby referred to as SoC) still managed to turn heads around during its 2007 release, but it was no longer the biggest visual powerhouse on the block.


    Perhaps the most impressive piece of visual technology in SoC was its lighting system. Its completely dynamic DX9.0c lighting simulation was first demoed in 2004. Almost ...
    by Published on April 27th, 2017 03:00 AM  Number of Views: 6029 
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    Unfortunately, many game franchises have died off without a proper ending, leaving the story hanging. In this article we will look at the most needed sequels in the video game industry. Many of the sequels we mention were at some point in development, but not all of them.




    The industry desperately needs a successor to Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, which is a one of a kind RPG and one of the finest ever made. Traditional fantasy RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons and Dragon Age are familiar, but Arcanum is truly unique, being a mix of that traditional fantasy and Steampunk. Magic versus technology.

    As a result, the contrast in possible player character builds is unmatched; your character can be a more traditional sword and shield warrior, a mage skilled in whichever of the 16 spell colleges you choose, or one who strongly pursues technology and ranged weapons, including guns. Needless to say, we need a new RPG like this, with such a unique world. Steampunk combined with fantasy.

    But Arcanum's excellence goes beyond that. It is one of the finest RPGs ever made, having huge disparity in dialogue responses and quest availability based on your character build, and so many possible world and plot changes coming from this. It has many different races to choose from, and race strongly influences reputation and dialogue. So do the eight attributes and your own reputation. Reputation changes dynamically depending on what you do, like Fallout and Fallout 2 (obvious inspirations for Arcanum, as most of Arcanum's developers worked on Fallout and Fallout 2 as well). The entirety of the game is rewritten based on your intelligence score, with very low intelligent characters being almost incomprehensible verbally and in their written journal like in Fallout 2, as well as much different, more refined dialogue responses for highly intelligent characters.

    Quest design, for the most part, is also greatly superior to the RPGs of today, being more open ended, more logical, having less hand holding, not involving repetitive tasks, and having unique gameplay opposed to just combat or dialogue. Writing quality also stands far above the RPGs today, with its so much more detailed world and characters, and a thematically rich story as well.


    Like other great classic RPGs, Arcanum was rich with unique style, seen as early as the game's cinematic intro shown above.

    All of these distinct, positive attributes we have described about this game and other great classic RPGs are now extinct from the genre. They no longer have a unique, unmistakable style like Troika and Black Isle Studios did. No longer do they have such a variety of possible character builds with the depth that allows them to be truly unique. No longer does anything about your character build greatly impact the course of the game beyond combat, and even those combat changes are far lesser nowadays due to the ...
    by Published on March 11th, 2017 04:00 AM
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    Torment: Tides of Numenera is a story-driven, isometric 2.5D turn-based RPG developed by inXile. It is a "thematic successor" to Planescape: Torment, a critically acclaimed RPG released in 1999 by Black Isle Studios published by Interplay, the creators of Wasteland, Fallout, Fallout 2, and other noteworthy RPGs. Planescape: Torment is famous for its writing prowess, having some of the deepest, most original, most satisfying writing in video game history. This has led to strong hype for this game, at least from seasoned PC gamers. We named it our most anticipated game of 2015 in our 2014 game of the year awards, yet it has just come out at the very end of February 2017. It suffered from numerous delays, making one wonder what kind of development struggles it underwent, and how much harm was done to the final product.

    Planescape: Torment is a game where every character encounter, every conversation is memorable and meaningful. In Planescape: Torment and unlike most other video games (especially larger scale ones, and it is a large scale game), every character that you can have a conversation with isn't just a quest-giving bot, it is a uniquely written, fleshed out character, written with care and utmost attention to detail. They all stand out positively. In addition, the world of Planescape: Torment is dark fantasy, weird and mysterious, and filled with strange encounters and interaction. Not just character interaction, but interacting with the world itself; objects that seem to contain some amount of sentience, portals to other worlds, phenomena of all kinds. Its setting surpasses expectations and is one of a kind. Character encounters aren't just with humans and common humanoid species, as the world of Planescape has many portals to many other worlds, bringing with them unique and at times bizarre lifeforms which the player can interact with.

    The world building, character development, story depth and originality, and overall writing quality of Planescape: Torment is above what video games are usually thought capable of. It is a philosophical story with heavy thematic elements, and it is expertly directed so that it never becomes incoherent or out of control. ...
    by Published on February 10th, 2017 03:00 AM
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    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines was the final game by Troika Games. It is a legendary PC exclusive RPG released in 2004, and the first ever Source game. It is based on the tabletop RPG called Vampire: The Masquerade.

    Bloodlines is a first person and third person action RPG known for its quality... but more than one meaning is associated with the word "quality" in this case. On the one hand, it is known as one of the best, most thorough video game RPGs ever made with some of the best writing quality in video game history. On the other hand, it is known for being blatantly incomplete and incredibly buggy, perhaps even unplayable without mods.

    As such, we will be analyzing and reviewing the game with the unofficial patch applied to it, as it's truly required to play the game to completion. After all, the version sold by GOG comes with this patch already. Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is a somewhat forgotten great that needs to be reevaluated.



    Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is available on Steam, and also DRM free on GOG. The GOG version comes with an unofficial patch preinstalled as we mentioned, and is 100% playable from the get go unlike the Steam version which requires the unofficial ...
    by Published on January 2nd, 2017 04:00 AM
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    With 2016 being concluded, it is time for our annual game of the year awards. 2016 had many noteworthy releases, so we are excited to get this one underway. Get started on the next page!



    Mod of the Year - Overhaul


    Mod Title: Sky Reclamation Project v1.1.1
    Game Title: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky (2008)
    Release Date: July 9, 2016
    Platforms: PC
    Genre: FPS
    Developer: GSC Game World
    Publisher: Deep Silver

    Sky Reclamation Project is a massive unofficial patch for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky, aiming to fix all of its bugs and improve many aspects of the game, adding new gameplay mechanics in the process. Lots of optional features are included like true pistol iron sights, altered emission frequency, reduced AI grenade spam, and far more. It is a perfect mod. There is no reason to play the unmodded game since Sky Reclamation Project is a universal improvement, not to mention more stable.

    2016 was full of excellent overhaul mods. Settlements Expanded for Fallout 4 lets you do things like this compared to this from the unmodded game, and far more. Hearts of Iron IV: The Great War does not ride on the shoes of Battlefield 1; instead it showcases one of the most terrible events in history in its own unique, Grand Strategy way. Brutal DOOM 64 brings a re-imagined version of one of the most interesting ports of the original DOOM, borrowing from the acclaimed Brutal DOOM's mod legacy.

    Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth seeks to remake one of the best strategy games of all time on the Stacraft 2 engine, and TemplarGFX's ACM Overhaul seeks to make the disappointing Aliens: Colonial Marines into something actually worth playing. Quite the task all these mods have, but through sheer tenacity and respect for the original work and the art form, all are worthy of our time!

    Other Nominees

    • Settlements Expanded (Fallout 4)
    • Hearts of Iron IV: The Great War (Hearts of Iron IV)
    • Brutal DOOM 64 (Doom 2)
    • Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth (StarCraft 2)
    • TemplarGFX's ACM Overhaul (Aliens: Colonial Marines)




    Mod of the Year - Total Conversion


    Mod Title: Call of Chernobyl 1.4.12
    Game Title: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat (2010)
    Release Date: October 24, 2016
    Platforms: PC
    Genre: FPS
    Developer: GSC Game World
    Publisher: bitComposer Games

    Call of Chernobyl is an extremely ambitious total conversion mod for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat, adding many new locations, tons of new equipment (with gorgeous gun models), and new gameplay mechanics with a ton of new options not only for gameplay but also UI, sound, weather, and more. Of course, graphics are improved as well. Call of Chernobyl features every single location from all S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, and more. You can even create your own character like an RPG, something totally new ...
    by Published on December 11th, 2016 04:00 AM
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    The Talos Principle, released two years ago today, is touted as a philosophical puzzle game, and it was developed by Croteam. Wait, Croteam? The same people who created Serious Sam? You can't be serious! Not that Serious Sam isn't good, but it's quite the opposite of The Talos Principle; an arcade FPS with co-op emphasis, while The Talos Principle is a story-driven single-player only experience. You can't underestimate anyone, I suppose.

    As of 2016, The Talos Principle is available on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Android. In this belated review we will look at not only The Talos Principle, but its story DLC Road to Gehenna.



    This page contains spoilers.

    The game starts with the player character, a robot which resembles a human, awakening in a strange, ancient looking place. A voice that identifies itself as ELOHIM materializes out of nowhere. The voice says, "Behold, child. You are risen from the dust, and you walk in my garden. Hear now my voice and know that I am your maker, and I am called ELOHIM. Seek me in my temple if you are worthy."

    ELOHIM watches your progress closely, encourages faith and your success. He talks about the world you are in, how it was made for you and how it contains secrets, how there have been others before you, how before this world there was chaos but in here there is purpose.

    But he/it isn't the only one you make contact with. On some of these computers you may contact the Milton Library Assistant, hereby referred to as Milton. It is an AI designed to sort and categorize information, and respond to conflicting information. But it seems it was made too sentient if there is such a thing, as it has seemingly developed a personality. ...
    by Published on December 1st, 2016 05:00 AM
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    Dishonored was one of the most magnificent new IPs to be released in the 2010s, and four years later we get its much awaited sequel. Dishonored 2 was developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks, just like the first game. It is also Arkane's first sequel, with their past games (Arx Fatalis and Dark Messiah: Of Might and Magic) never getting one.

    Dishonored 2, like the first, is a first-person stealth and action game granting freedom in gameplay approach. The entire game can be played without getting detected by hostiles and without engaging in combat, just like its predecessor. It is meant to be as good a stealth game as it is an action game, something only previously accomplished by its own predecessor as well as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided to our estimation.

    Dishonored 2 features two playable protagonists, something very rare in gaming these days but it's a feature worth lots of hype. You may play as Corvo Attano, protagonist of the first game, or his daughter Emily Kaldwin, who is the reigning Empress. Note that it was never actually confirmed in the first game that Emily is Corvo's daughter, only strongly suggested, but Dishonored 2 pre-release footage and information freely announced it since it's not a surprise to anyone who has played the first.

    Let's move on and see if Dishonored 2 lives up to its hype and potential. The review continues on the next page.



    Dishonored 2 is a unique type of fantasy game with some Steampunk inspiration, like its predecessor. They resemble no other game world in an artistic sense. Being this unique is already an accomplishment.

    The technology seen throughout the world often ...
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