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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2009

  

TF2 & DoD: Source Patched

Steam News announces that the promised new patch is now automatically available for Team Fortress 2, along with word a new version of Day of Defeat: Source is also now available via Steam. The new Team Fortress 2 includes the predicted bug and exploit fixes, and the plan is to follow with another patch this week, which will pave the way for the Scout class update for Team Fortress 2.

Entrenchment Beta Change Log

An Entrenchment Beta 2B Change Log is online, outlining changes planned for the next beta version of this add-on for Sins of a Solar Empire, though they clearly state that this list is not necessarily final. They also say: "As of this posting, we have not set a date for the release of Beta 2." We have received a couple of comments from folks saying they see this as a sign the space strategy game add-on will not make its latest release date of February 11, but we've confirmed that date with both Ironclad and Stardock, and now a new post on the official website repeats that date as well.

Mirror's Edge DLC Delayed

Big Download reports that the "Time Trial" DLC for Mirror's Edge will not be released for this week as planned, but rather has been delayed until sometime next month. The statement they received from EA suggests this is about smoothness: "To offer a completely smooth experience for players, DICE announced today that the DLC map pack for Mirror's Edge on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC will be delayed until February." This does not impact plans to release a free three map pack exclusively for the PlayStation 3 tomorrow.

NFLPA Ruling Upheld

NFL Union To Pay Retired Players For In-Game Likeness follows up on the ruling from November, saying the judgment has been upheld on appeal, and the NFL Players Association is going to have to pay a group of retired NFL players $21 million.

Battle of Britain 2 Patch

New patches are now available for Battle of Britain 2: Wings of Victory to update the World War II combat flight simulator to version 2.09. There's a patch for the English edition on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell; and there's an international patch on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Dawn of War II Movie

A new "faction feature" movie from Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II shows off some multiplayer action in the upcoming real-time strategy sequel. The faction on display are the Orks, with the "k" differentiating this sci-fi unit from fantasy-style Orcs. The clip is posted on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and MyGameTrailers.

NeoSteam Beta & Trailer

HanbitSoft and gamigo announce a partnership where gamigo will operate a European version of Neo Steam, a Korean MMORPG with a steampunk setting, or at least an anime take on steampunk. They are currently accepting applications for closed beta testing of the subscription-free game, and the website offers the introductory video from the game, which is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and MyGameTrailers.

Blood Bowl Movie

The second of the four promised movies from Blood Bowl is now available with another cinematic from Cyanide Studio's upcoming fantasy-themed sports game where there's no such thing as unnecessary roughness. Word is: "Watch as the legions of Chaos punish the Humans for daring to face off against them. In the end, the Human team’s only hope is to cheat by calling in a blast of fire from above and steal the ball away in the confusion!" The clip is available on the Blood Bowl Website and mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, Strategy Informer, and MyGameTrailers.

Evening Previews

  • Heroes over Europe on GamesRadar.
  • Street Fighter IV on IGN.
  • Wanted: Weapons of Fate on IGN.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War 2 on 1Up.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Mobilization

Metaverse

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Tropico 3 Details

Tiscali Games has early details on Tropico 3, a third installment in the strategy series. As announced in November, Kalypso Media has acquired rights to the series from Take-Two, and has enlisted Bulgarian developer Haemimont Games (Imperium Romanum) to develop Tropico 3. Word is the game will be set in a historically accurate depiction of the Cold War, will allow the player to play as a ruthless or benevolent dictator and custom design his own island, will feature a "random play" mode, and the game's new engine will be detailed enough to see laundry hanging on line, and will allow the player's dictator to wander the island in a free mode to engage in activities like sunbathing or gambling in a casino. They offer some new screenshots from PC Games, where there is another preview of the project, though this is written in German.

AIAS Awards on TV

The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (AIAS) announces the 12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards will be shown on the Independent Film Channel (IFC), marking the first time this award show will be televised. The awards take place on February 19, 2009 at the Red Rock Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, but the broadcast is not live, it will be a half-hour of highlights to air in April. I would like to personally volunteer to help with the show; I don't presume that I could replace Jay Mohr as host, but I would like to do the red carpet interviews, like Joan Rivers: 'Bruce! Bruce Shelley who are you wearing?'

Tomb Raider Movie Reboot

The Hollywood Reporter confirms rumors that another Tomb Raider movie is in the works that will "reboot" the cinematic version of Lara Croft, since reboot is the new black. They take some air out of the idea that Megan Fox is the new Lara, saying: "An actress who could play the role Angelina Jolie made famous would likely come on after a writer and director are attached." The article describes the wrangling involving these movie rights: "Paramount previously made the two movies based on the game, but the rights have since reverted to Eidos. When Time Warner upped its stake to 19.92% in Eidos in December, films rights to the property were included as part of the deal." This leads to some speculation from MCV that Warner may yet take over Eidos, as has long been rumored. Thanks Mike Martinez and Dark Horizon.

TF2 Scout Pack Nears

An update to the official Team Fortress 2 Blog by Valve's Robin "Texas Ranger" Walker announces that their design and coding teams have already turned their attention to the next update pack for Team Fortress 2, as the Scout pack is basically complete except for some final art, which he says they like to do: "as late as possible to ensure that we don't waste any work." He describes how this worked in their favor as they tried several alternatives to the Scattergun, which he also says presented tricky balance issues. He offers some answers to some fan-submitted questions, and outlines their projected update schedule: "We've got an update that should be out tomorrow with a bunch of bug & exploit fixes. Later this week we hope to have another update out that changes the way we store your unlockable items. You shouldn't notice much difference, other than if you play on multiple computers we'll now propagate your item choices. You can think of that update as the one that moves your inventory into the Steam Cloud. Once that's out of the way, we'll be able to ship the Scout pack." The post is dated yesterday, so that bug fix patch he mentions for tomorrow should be expected today.

The Secret World Redesign

IncGamers has some details about changes in direction planned for The Secret World, Funcom's secretive upcoming MMOG. They hear from designer Ragnar Tørnquist, who says they are happy with their graphics, but are revisiting the story: "to link everything thematically, to emphasise the importance of the story, to add contrast and drama and spectacle, to create a world that people will want to experience and live in. Permanently." He also comments that they don't want the game to be considered "a WoW clone," which may hint at the reasons for the redesign. He describes their goal: "We’re going to play up the strengths of our universe and differentiate ourselves in both the setting and the gameplay - and particularly in how players can become exactly who they want to be, their secret selves, both visually and in terms of powers."

BattleForge in March

Phenomic Launches BattleForge to Stores on March 24 offers a March 24 release date for this trading card-based RTS game in both North America and Europe. The announcement offers a reminder that open beta testing is currently underway and outlines preorder incentives: "Prior to launch, players can get into the BattleForge Open Beta by registering at www.BattleForgeCardHunt.com. Worldwide, pre-order customers will receive four exclusive units, one from each faction: Fire, Frost, Nature and Shadow. These units will feature exclusive card artwork and in-game animation. They will also be leveled-up, giving player’s a head start as they prepare for battle online. For more details on pre-ordering BattleForge, please visit www.battleforge.com."

Nexon Vancouver Closed

Kotaku reports that Nexon Vancouver has been closed, leaving about 90 employees without jobs. The studio was working on future projects for Nexon America, the western arm of MMOG mavens Nexon, so this will have no impact on existing games. Thanks Mike Martinez and Edge Online.

Morning Consolidation

Crysis Warhead Patch Plans

A new Crysis Monthly Update offers the full patch notes from the next patch for Crysis Warhead, saying the update for Crytek's first-person shooter will be released "soon," though no exact date is set. Most significant will be the inclusion of 64-bit executables for Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Savage 2 Patch Plans

The Savage 2: A Tortured Soul Forum have a sneak peak at the changelog for an upcoming version 1.7.8 patch for S2 Games' action/strategy sequel. They say they hope the patch will be release sometime this week, but they want to give players a chance to give them feedback. The list of changes is pretty extensive, but not complete, and mentions the inclusion of Bunker, a map remake from the original Savage, saying a subsequent post will provide more details on the map.

Dead Space Postmortem

The Dead Space Postmortem on Crispy Gamer is an interview with Chuck "Real Name" Beaver, producer on the horror-themed shooter. They discuss the game's difficult beginning, the removal of cutscenes, chapters, boss battles, the anonymity of your avatar, the creepy music, their reaction to reviews and sales figures, and more. Will there be a Dead Space sequel? Chuck says: "We'll see. I hope so."

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Q&A

Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Q&A on GameSpot gets senior producer Tim Holman talking about Relic's upcoming World War II real-time strategy follow-up. They discuss why this is a standalone release (rather than an expansion), the campaign's focus on small-scale battles, "direct fire" mode, multiplayer support, and more. Those eager to reenlist take heart, he says they are almost done: "We're closing bugs at the moment and about to finish--close enough that we started thinking about the wrap party! "

New Battlefield 2 Assault Mod

A new version 0.75 of the Battlefield 2 Assault Mod is now available, declaring the project "done," offering single-player, co-op, and multiplayer "RageWar" support. The assault mod heavily emphasis solo play, offering bots with enhanced AI, custom skins, and changes to ballistics (including bullet penetration), and the new version adds new maps, among other things. Thanks Ant and Planet Battlefield.

Morning Previews

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

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