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Friday, Jun 19, 2009

  

ARMA II Patch

The ARMA II Website has a new version 1.02 patch for Bohemia Interactive's military shooter sequel that's now available in Europe (thanks Spike). Here's the list of changes in the patch, which can be applied to either previous version:

- Improved AI driving skills
- Lowered enemy AI skills for regular and recruit difficulty levels
- Improved Micro AI tactics, attack in pairs, path limiting to avoid passing through walls
- Fixed multiplayer session NAT negotiation
- Improved game stability (various crash opportunities fixed)
- Multiple save slots supported
- Improved terrain shape beyond map borders
- Various campaign and localization fixes and improvements
- Modules (F7) support added in the Mission Editor
- Added option to disable various post-process effects (bloom, blur etc.)

Alien Arena 2009 Released

The Alien Arena Website now offers Alien Arena 2009, the latest installment in this freeware Windows, Linux, and OS X shooter series. The new version has a new HUD, new scoreboards, voice taunts, and numerous new engine features, all detailed in this change list. Here's part of the official description of the game:

Alien Arena is a fast paced, furious frag fest with arenas ranging from the small, to the massive. With a large built-in player base, it's never hard to find a good match going on, at any hour of the day. The community is friendly, as well as prolific. Dozens of maps, models, and various accessories have been created by community members to add on to the game experience. The CRX engine that powers Alien Arena has received very significant upgrades in the last six months, resulting not only in stunning new visuals, but vastly increased performance as well.

New The Old Republic Comic

The ninth issue of Threat of Peace is now on the Star Wars: The Old Republic Website, concluding the first chapter in this comic series setting the story for Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG.

Eden Revealed

There's an interview on MTV Multiplayer with Morten Iversen, a writer on the Hitman series and director of Eden, a game based on a controversial new movie called AntiChrist, that Iverson describes as a "nightmarish version of Myst." A report on MTV Multiplayer yesterday suggested a game might be in the works based on the movie, which apparently contains graphic sex and violence (including "genital mutilation"), and the conversation confirms that the game will be outrageous enough that he expects it will be "Absolutely not available at Wal-Mart." The game is planned as a download-only affair through services like Steam and Xbox LIVE, and Iverson says this of the project: "I admire Lars von Trier’s work immensely, and look forward to developing this game based on his work and hopefully with his creative input. He’s an extremely creative, condescending, misogynist genius with a shipload of phobias rattling him every day, so we’re like kindred spirits."

ARMA II in EU, Launch Trailer

Today is launch day in Europe for ARMA II, the military simulation sequel from Bohemia Interactive Studios that's due stateside on June 30. Meanwhile, the EU release trailer for the game can be found on AtomicGamer and Gamer's Hell.

Gold - All Aspect Warfare; New Demo

3000AD announces that All Aspect Warfare is gold, and their sci-fi first-person shooter is on track for digital distribution on June 30, though they are leaving open the possibility of pushing that back as far as the end of summer if a deal comes along to put the game on retail shelves. In the meantime, the playable demo for the game has been updated yet again, and the new version 1.18.23 demo contains the same codebase as the finalized version of the game. The demo and a patch to update the older demo are on the All Aspect Warfare Media Page, and the changelog outlines what's different.

America's Army 3 Patched

Steam News announces the release of the promised patch for America's Army 3, the just released military shooter. The update concentrates on bug fixes and performance improvements with the launch version.

Superstars V8 Racing Demo

A playable demo for Superstars V8 Racing allows the chance to test drive this racing game from Black Bean Games. The demo offers the chance to put the pedal to the metal on the Portimao track for a 391 MB download, which is located on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, eXp Download, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell.

Weekend Sales

The weekend sale on Steam offers Empire: Total War and Empire: Total War Special Forces Edition for 50% off. Steam now offers 16 NovaLogic games, including the new Delta Force Xtreme 2, and are offering 10% off any of these titles for the first week. Also, GamersGate announces a couple of sales, offering Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War Soulstorm and Flock! each for 50% off. Finally, Impulse is offering 10% off this weekend on all the Ubisoft titles they offer, though this is for North America only.

Light of Altair Patch

A new patch is now available for Light of Altair to update SaintXi's sci-fi colony building simulation to version 1.01. The patch including balance changes and bug fixes can be downloaded from AtomicGamer, FileFront, and Gamer's Hell. The Steam and Impulse versions of the update are also now available.

Original War Patch

A new version 1.01b patch is now online to update Original War, the real-time strategy game from ALTAR Interactive. No details are available for the patch, which can be found on AtomicGamer and FileFront.

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Tech Bits

Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Grand Theft Auto IV Patch

A new update for the Windows edition of Grand Theft Auto IV is now automatically available through Games for Windows LIVE, which brings the open-world action game to version 1.0.4.0. There is also a manual version 1.0.4.0 patch available from Rockstar Games Support, which is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls. The new version is called a maintenance update, which is described like this: "Resource management adjustments based on the operating system detected."

Battlefield 1943 Trial Planned

Eurogamer has word on plans for a trial version of Battlefield 1943 to allow the chance to sample DICE's upcoming World War II action/shooter, saying this will help make up for the lack of public beta testing of the game. They quote EA DICE producer Gordon Van Dyke saying, "No beta, but we have a trial version that lets you confirm what you already thought - that this game is the best USD 15 I will ever spend!" BF1943 is due this summer on consoles, with the Windows version to follow.

America's Army 3 Patch Plans

The America's Army Website says many of the problems with the America's Army launch were the result of network capacity limitations, but that there are other issues, saying: "The America's Army Team is working to resolve the problems and to bring you a solution as quickly as possible." They outline plans for a patch for the just-released military shooter "that addresses some of these issues so that you can enjoy the game over the weekend." This update will come automatically from Steam, and going forward they say: "We are dedicated to providing continuous improvements throughout the life of the game." On a semi-related note, Voodoo Extreme immortalizes a now-deleted forum post by one of the laid off America's Army developers, who describes the effort put into the game fighting what sound like impossible circumstances, saying: "I hoped to let the fans know that we tried as hard as we could and are very bummed to see the fruits of our labor shoved at gamers like a heaping pile of crap."

Germany to Block Austrian Game Sales?

This English article on German site Videogameszone.de describes a lawsuit by the "Bavarian Commission for the Protection of Children against Media abuse," who are looking to block access to online stores in Austria selling games that are banned in Germany. They interview someone from sued website Gameware.at who indicates they do a brisk sale in games forbidden by Germany's indexing process, and that about 80% of their customers are Germans. They say they are working with their lawyers to resist this legal action, which apparently could result in the complete closure of their website, or its blacklisting on portals such as the Google.

Ships Ahoy - Big Rig Europe

Meridian 4 announces the release of Big Rig Europe, the North American edition of the transport simulation also known as Euro Truck Simulator in Europe. The game is currently for sale at Impulse and TryMedia, and they say it is coming "in the near future" to other outlets such as Wild Tangent and GameTap. Here's a bit on what to expect from the game:

Navigate your way around a realistic depiction of Europe traveling along major trunk routes and visiting famous places based on real roads and cities. Experience the life of a long distance truck driver as you face the challenge of varying road and traffic conditions and meeting the demands of a heavy schedule.

Haul cargo for various companies, and make money so your business can grow and expand. As you advance through your career obtain access to new countries, improve your truck and become the master of your profession.

World War II: General Commander Announced

Matrix Games announces World War II: General Commander, an introductory real-time strategy game set during the siege of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge, Germany's last-ditch offences near the end of the war. There's no indication of a release date, and here's a bit on the game:

World War II: General Commander is an introductory war strategy game which brings a unique mix of scale, combat dynamics, and force management. An intuitive combination of rules and controls will give beginning wargamers and real time strategy fans the opportunity to simulate Germany’s famous last Blitzkrieg from either side. Evaluate the tactical situation while monitoring your overall strategy over real scale 3D maps, with high quality graphics and effects. World War II: General Commander creates an intense command experience with a choice of engagements ranging from defending a single town to the full campaign stretching hundreds of miles and involving all the historical forces!

Procedural City System

The Proceduralcity Homepage describes technology to procedurally create interiors of urban buildings, eliminating what they humorously dub "locked door syndrome" in most games, where you can enter buildings, but most of the rooms are fake, with locked doors. Thanks Marco.

PROTOTYPE Postmortem

The PROTOTYPE Postmortem Q&A on The Armchair Empire talks with Max Belanger, producer at Radical Entertainment, to discuss how PROTOTYPE turned out, now that the open world action game has hit the streets. Topics include their disappointment at having to slash multiplayer support, their satisfaction with the game's "power and agility," comparisons with other games, mobility, gore, Alex Mercer's appearance, and much more.

StarCraft II Battle Report

Kotaku has the latest StarCraft II battle report, which does not yet seem to be on the StarCraft II Website. The 17-minute clip shows a game between a couple of accomplished players, accompanied by some caffeine-fuelled expert esports commentary.

Op Ed

Digital Trends - Will PC Games Trump Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii?
When game consoles first come out, they typically have performance in line with some of the highest performance PCs. By the end of year one, they are in line with medium performance PCs, and by the end of year, two PC games are starting to look better in general. From here, it only gets competitively worse, because PCs remain on a rapid evolution schedule, and game consoles are frozen for around five years.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

So I was manning my grill the other day (or as MrsBlue has dubbed it, my "Man Stove"), and one of the items I was cooking was more of this super-thick natural bacon that MrsBlue found at the market. The last time I tried to make this on the grill I created a grease fire of epic proportions, so this time I was using a cast-iron griddle for a more controlled situation. The griddle only fit half the package of bacon, so the other half was on a plate, and to cut to the chase, this lead to me discovering Hudson the wonder dog standing next to an empty plate, looking rather pleased with herself. We confirmed with the vet that she was not going to get as sick from this as a human would, and were told to keep an eye on her just in case, but she's fine. I can't really blame her for taking food just sitting there in the great outdoors, it was really my fault for not paying attention. Besides, as John Travolta once said (as Vincent Vega), "Bacon tastes good."

Bacony Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: HR-Mageddon.
The remake of GROW ver.3. Thanks Jay is Games.
Gravitex 2.
Stories: Pixar grants girl’s dying wish with home viewing of 'Up'
Woman in Intensive Care After 'Restoring Virginity' for Sixth Time. Thanks theAntiELVIS.
Mexican navy uncovers drugs inside frozen sharks. Thanks brother19.
Science: NASA launches unmanned moon shot, first in decade.
Mammoths survived late in Britain.
Image: One shot: the menacing mundanity of spotting an Aperture Science van.
Media: Dr. Manhattan's Pants.
Elf Porn Scandal Hits Gauntlet. Thanks Cutter.
Dinosaurs Say Hey.



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