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Tuesday, Jan 27, 2009

  

Dawn of War II Beta Opens

Steam News announces that the multiplayer beta test for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II is now open to all, as planned. Naturally enough, a free Steam account is required to participate.

Empire: Total War Date; DRM; Specs

The Total War Blog says March 4 is the release date for Empire: Total War, confirming the most recent release date for the next installment in Creative Assembly's large-scale real-time strategy series. They also announce that all copies of the game must be activated using Steam, even if they are purchased at retail or another digital delivery service. They also offer some system specifications, saying the following represents the minimum, rather than the recommended specs:

Operating System: Windows XP 32(service pack 2), Windows Vista 32 OS.
Processor: 2.4 GHz Single Core Intel or AMD equivalent processor.
System Memory: 1GB RAM (XP) 2GB RAM (Vista).
Graphics Card: 256MB DirectX 9.0c compatible video card (shader 2.0 or higher).
Sound Card: Directx9.0c compatible sound card.
Windows compatible mouse & keyboard.
15 GB free uncompressed hard drive space.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment Delay

Shacknews reports learning from Stardock that the Entrenchment add-on for Sins of a Solar Empire has suffered another setback to its release date, and the expansion is now to be expected on February 11. They offer a couple of new screenshots as a consolation prize. There's also a new hands-on preview of the game on IGN.

JoWooD's Good Old Games

GOG.com announces some new additions to their DRM-free marketplace. The good old gamers now offer Revolution Software's In Cold Blood for $5.99, and a couple of titles from JoWooD, Painkiller Black Edition and Panzer Elite: Special Edition, for $9.99. They also announce future plans, saying: "Other JoWood games destined for GOG.com include Gothic 2 Gold, Spellforce Platinum, The Guild Gold and Alien Nation." In related news, GameBanshee has a promo code for 10% off your Good Old Games order, an offer that's good through Thursday.

All Aspect Warfare Movie

The All Aspect Warfare Media Section now offers a new movie from All Aspect Warfare, 3000AD's upcoming action/combat game. Here's the description of the clip: "'Hornet’s Nest' features an intense air combat engagement which starts off with an aircraft selection. Due to its size, it has been released in two parts. Part 1 (running time 04:58) shows the mission planning, asset selection and ingress to the strike area. Part 2 (running time 12:15) shows the combat that ensues at the strike zone once all hell breaks loose."

Section 8 Movie

A new trailer from Section 8 promotes the science fiction first-person shooter in the works at TimeGate Studios. The two-and-a-half minute clip is all cinematics, showing an incursion on a hostile planet, involving gunplay as well as melee combat. You can find the clip on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Blood Bowl Movie

Focus Home Interactive announces plans to release four movies over the coming days promoting Blood Bowl, their upcoming fantasy-themed sports game. The first clip is already available, described thusly: "To launch this Blood Bowl blitz, we’re releasing a new trailer of the Goblin team in action. In this video, watch as these sneaky little gobbos zip around the field doing their best the snatch up the ball and make a run past the other team’s defenses. When all else fails, our fiendish little friend finds a nearby troll to throw him headlong into the end zone!" The clip is available on ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Third-Person Mirror's Edge

Gamezine.co.uk outlines how you can activate a third-person view in the Windows edition of Mirror's Edge, in case that seems like a more appealing way to experience the acrobatic action in DICE's parkour game. Implementation is as simple as adding a config file line reading "Bindings=(Name="F4",Command="FreeFlightCamera",Control=False,Shift=False,Alt=False)." A video on the YouTube shows the ass-cam in action, describing its limitations. Thanks Mike Martinez.

Operation Anchorage GFW Woes

YouGamers and Rock, Paper, Shotgun each have stories outlining problems with the PC edition of the Operation Anchorage DLC for Fallout 3 and the Games for Windows service. YouGamers reports that the DLC is not available in some localities, while users who have imported Fallout 3 are finding the DLC will only install in the default language of the country they imported the game from, even if it has been installed with another language. Meanwhile, Rock, Paper, Shotgun outlines their difficulties obtaining the DLC from Games for Windows in what can best be described as a bit of a circus, though some of the related forum comments may prove helpful to those suffering some of the same problems. On a semi-related note, GameCyte follows up on the news that Chris Early was fired by Microsoft with word that the Games for Windows program will continue under the leadership of Ron Pessner, formerly of Microsoft's Connected TV division, while Microsoft Game Studios veteran David Luehmann is now in charge of internal development and publishing of all Windows-based games.

Delta Force 10th Anniversary Collection

Holy voxels Batman! NovaLogic announces the release of the Delta Force 10th Anniversary Collection and a new NovaWorld Service, a premium community dedicated to NovaLogic games. The 10th Anniversary Collection offers a compilation of Delta Force, Delta Force 2, Delta Force Land Warrior, Delta Force Task Force Dagger, Delta Force Black Hawk Down, and Delta Force Black Hawk Down Team Sabre, all updated to run properly under Windows XP and Windows Vista. The package also includes a soundtrack and they are offering a complimentary one-year "Gold" NovaWorld membership to anyone who purchases and registers the package by the end of February, provided they register for a free two-month V.I.P. NovaWorld upgrade before January 30.

Ships Ahoy - MLB Front Office Manager

2K Sports announces that MLB Front Office Manager is now available, offering Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 players the chance to run their own virtual ballclub:

New York, NY– January 27, 2009 – 2K Sports, the sports publishing label of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO), today announced that MLB Front Office Manager is now available in retail stores for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Games for Windows® and the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. MLB Front Office Manager is the first and only MLB-licensed manager game for consoles and Windows PC, offering baseball fans the unique opportunity to manage their favorite Major League™ team and experience the thrilling life of a GM. Players will do everything a manager does - make the tough decisions like replacing aging veterans with rookies, scout the Minor Leagues™, select new players in the Amateur and Rule 5 drafts, offer arbitration to free agents, make blockbuster trades, and participate in bidding wars for posted players from Japan.

Helping to guide players through their journey as an aspiring GM, MLB Front Office Manager features one of the most talented and respected GM's in baseball today, Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics. Since being named GM in 1997, Beane has turned the Oakland Athletics into a consistent postseason contender, and provides helpful hints and insightful baseball information to mentor players throughout their career. With an exciting presentation style designed to resemble a real life TV broadcast, MLB Front Office Manager also tracks the progression of each player’s knowledge and skill level over time, allowing players to gain points when they improve in various areas and help the team win more games as a result. For competitive players, an online fantasy mode lets them create head-to-head management experiences. With up to 30 managers in the league, players can compete against friends to see who has what it takes to be the best.

MLB Front Office Manager, developed by Blue Castle Games and published by 2K Sports, is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB and is now available for Xbox 360, Games for Windows and the PLAYSTATION 3 system. For more information about MLB Front Office Manager, please visit www.2ksports.com/games/mlbmanager.

Gold - F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

WBIE announces F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin is gold, and that Monolith's first-person shooter sequel is on track for its planned release next month. Word is: "Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is excited to announce that F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin has officially 'gone gold' on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC and will ship to retailers in North America on February 10, 2009. The sequel to the critically-acclaimed supernatural first-person shooter F.E.A.R., F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin ushers in a new dimension of paranormal horror, cinematic combat and highly kinetic action." In the meantime, a playable demo of the game is available.

Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage

Operation Anchorage for Fallout 3 is now available, offering the first of three announced DLC packages for the action/RPG sequel. Word is: "Enter a military simulation and fight in one of the greatest battles of the Fallout universe—the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. An action- packed battle available now as an add-on for Fallout 3." The Windows edition is available from Games for Windows and the Xbox 360 edition is available via the Xbox LIVE marketplace. The price for the add-on is 800 MS points.

Morning Consolidation

C&C3: Tiberium Wars Ladders Reset

Command and Conquer DEN notes that the Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars ranked ladders were reset on Friday. They quote EA's C&C community manager APOC saying the resets to the 1v1 and 2v2 Tiberium Wars Ranked and Clan Ladders were "long overdue." Word is: "...this does not affect your overall historic stats that you attained from past ladder play." Thanks Ant.

F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin Pre-Purchase

Steam News now offers pre-purchase of F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin for those looking to buy before they try Monolith's upcoming shooter sequel. Word is: "Pre-purchase F.E.A.R.2: Project Origin today and be ready to play on February 12th Worldwide — European release on February 13th."

Op Ed

Chicagotribune.com - Is 'Grand Theft Auto IV' the greatest writing of the century? Thanks Mike Martinez and Digg.
"Even the movie industry notices. As Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers blogged last June: 'In terms of action, thrills, imagination and innovation, 'GTA IV' has it all over the pablum currently passing for ingenuity at the multiplex ... so far this summer, except maybe 'Iron Man'.'"

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I cut my finger in a minor losing battle I had opening some packaging, somewhat ironically on a bottle of hydrogen peroxide solution. The band-aid on my index finger made it almost impossible to use the keyboard, since it impacts almost half my typing fingers, so I've removed it. Of course now there's a risk it will open up and I'll get blood on the keys, which I think I'll play up as an inspiring Curt Schilling-style hero story. Kinda chokes you up, doesn't it?

Heroic Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Online Etch a Sketch. Thanks Neatorama.
Fastone Pyramid.
Champion of Guitars. Text guitar hero. Thanks Offworld.
Links: Meet i-Shovel an Autonomous Robotic Snow Shovel.
21 Dumbest Criminals of the 21st Century (So Far).
Stories: Workers urged- Go home and multiply.
Japan to tourists: Please don't lick the tuna. Thanks Neutronbeam. Sorry, Charlie.
Market Losses Tighten Screws On Colleges.
Science: It's snowing on Mars. Thanks Acleacius.
Alcohol stops men being a flop in bed. Thanks Michael.
Single cell 'can store memories'.
Media: History of the Internet. Kxmode.
CHP Driver Training. Thanks nin and Digg.



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