Dystopia and Eternal Silence Steamworked

Hot off the Steamworks oven, Dystopia and Eternal Silence, two grade A Half-Life 2 modifications.

Dystopia is a cyberpunk-themed, team- and class-based modification that has its techno-augmented players combating and completing various objectives both in and out of cyberspace. To jack yourself up to cyberspace, hop to steam://install/17580


Eternal Silence is a large-scale science fiction space combat modification that focuses on dogfights between smaller ships and assaults on larger motherships that result in human-sized FPS shoot-outs on decks and hangars. To get your flight on, consider steam://install/17550ngm_nebular13

Obviously, both projects stand out in the current modification landscape, not only because of their sci-fi –based setting and extremely polished look and feel, but also because both teams pride in dual-layered (cyberspace/real world and space/decks, respectively) game design, and as an indirect result have also somewhat struggled to find an audience large enough to sustain the core game mechanics to their fullest.

Both teams have also suffered some severe setbacks down the line – Eternal Silence being released with less-than-stellar (no pun intended) net code and a backlash after an IGF “Best Multiplayer Mod” nomiation in 2007 and Dystopia failing to meet its over-hyped expectations in its demo version. Let us hope both games will finally find their well-deserved player base thru Steamworks!

Check out a gallery for both games after the jump and stay tuned for more discussion on the positives and negatives of the Steamworks platform for modifications.


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Cryostasis/Hydrophobia Battle Boils Down

In a puerile attempt to whip up a hot cool antagonistic parallel, Slowdown observes the release of Cryostasis: Sleep of Reason draws near: The game, to be released on February 13 in the EU and North America, has been hyped as probably having “more PhysX effects than any other project coming … before it”


According to Alec Tractenberg of 1C Publishing, the game’s protagonist – meteorologist Alex Nestarov – will go face to face with “zombie monsters”, “dynamic fractally generated frost” and “hydrodynamics”. 

Hydrophobia, on the other hand, remains elusive: Although the game is still slated for an undefined March ‘09 release, it remains to be seen whether Blade Interactive can actually bring the game out in time; there has been no new footage or news since a short E3 2008 teaser trailer. Now, the question remains – which of the two aqua-tastic titles titillates your taste buds more?

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New Preview of Deus Ex 3

It’s been a while since we’ve heard about Deus Ex 3. The game seems to be covered by a shroud of mysterious information embargo; any article that appears online gets taken down almost immediately. A sharp fan at the official Eidos forums managed to find a gallery of high quality images at Gamestar where the original preview was no longer available for reading.

A new preview of Deus Ex 3 has appeared on Czech gaming site hratelne, and has stayed up. Reliable as ever, the enthusiastic fans  provide a summary (and more detailed translation) of the article for us non-Czechs. While the preview treads familiar ground, it does drop a few new details.


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Cryostasis Vista Tech Demo

A tech demo for Cryostasis, an atmospheric shooter set on a nuclear ice-breaker and released by 1C Company, can be found from NVIDIA’s Graphics Plus Power Pack #2 . Though the requirements indicate otherwise, the tech demo only works with Vista, on a Shader Model 4.0 DirectX10 card.


Since Valve’s Hardware Survey already revealed how only 21.43% of us are Vista-equipped, it would seem, then, that the company simply wants to illustrate the engine’s raw ability. Fortunately for us philistines, reports from Russia – where Cryostasis is already out! – confirm that the game works even with mid-range graphic cards (including those equipped with SM2.0, 3.0 and 4.0) as well as on good ol’ Windows XP.

The game is slated for a February 2009 release date in the English-speaking world, which also leads us to recall Hydrophobia, which is scheduled for a March 2009 release. Does this mean the top one cause for our most recent watery nightmares will be slugged out in a clash of titans?

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