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Friday, Oct 09, 2009

  

Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer, Comic

There's a new "The Making of Coruscant" trailer on the Star Wars: The Old Republic Website where the folks at BioWare discuss the development of the dynamic city world that serves as the capital of the republic for the upcoming Star Wars MMORPG. Also, as noted here, the seventeenth issue of Threat of Peace is online, with the latest installment in this comic series that's part of the game's back story.

Shaba Closure Confirmed

Edge Online has a statement from Activision confirming yesterday's rumor that developer Shaba Games (Spider-Man: Web of Shadows) has been shut down. "Activision continually evaluates the resources at our studio properties to ensure that they are properly matched to our product slate and overall strategic goals, reads the statement. "As part of this process, we recently made the difficult but necessary decision to close Shaba Studios. We are grateful for the studio's contributions and wish this talented team success in their future endeavors."

Left 4 Dead Patched

Steam News announces a new automatic update is now available for Left 4 Dead. The new version of the co-op zombie shooter fixes a few bugs, and makes available the variable to allow users to set the maximum acceptable ping for a dedicated server.

Gatherings & Competitions

On Sale

  • Cricket Revolution on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • Machinarium on Direct2Drive. Preorders save 25%.
  • Painkiller: Resurrection on Steam. Save 10% on pre-purchases and get PK: Black and PK: Overdose free.
  • Painkiller Universe on GamersGate. Save 50%.
  • Strategy First on GamersGate. Save 20% on all titles.
  • Team Fortress 2 on Best Buy and FRYS.com. Only $9.99. Thanks Johnny.
  • Velvet Assassin on GamersGate. Save 50%.

    Still on sale (previously reported)
     
  • Battlestations: Pacific on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Borderlands on Direct2Drive. Save 10% on preorders.
  • Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30 Download on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Cellblock Squadrons on Impulse. Save 50%.
  • Codename: Panzers - Cold War on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Company of Heroes Gold on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Delta Force: Land Warrior on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Delta Force: Task Force Dagger on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Dreamkiller on Steam. Pre-purchase and save 10%.
  • Empire: Total War on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Gratuitous Space Battles on Impulse. Save 13% on preorders.
  • Hearts Of Iron II Collection on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Hitman series on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Metal Drift on Steam. Save 20% on pre-purchase and get beta access.
  • Nemesis of the Roman Empire on Impulse. Save 47%.
  • Oddworld Games on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Raven Squad on Steam. Includes a free copy of Legendary.
  • Restaurant Empire 2 on Impulse. Save 30%.
  • SFI Mission 4-Pack on the Strategy First Website. Four games for $19.99.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire on Impulse. Save 33%.
  • Sins of a Solar Empire Bundle on Impulse. Save 14%.
  • Spiderweb Software Store. All games 10% off through October.
  • Supreme Commander Gold on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Tex Murphy Series on GOG.com. Save 30%.
  • THQ Classic FPS Bundle on Impulse. Save 25%.
  • Tropico 3 Pre-purchase on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Tropico 3 on Direct2Drive. Preorders save 10%.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.
  • Warlords Battlecry III on Impulse. Save 47%.
  • Wolfenstein on Amazon. Save 44%.
  • World in Conflict Gold Edition on Direct2Drive. Only $5.00.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Gold - Borderlands

Gearbox Software announces that development of Borderlands is complete, and the now-gold role-playing shooter will hit stores this month as expected. The PC edition will ship in North America on October 26, and the international release will follow on October 30, while the console editions will ship on October 20 in North America and October 23 Internationally. The "Buy Now" option on the Borderlands Website brings up a list of retailers offering preorders, some of which are offering bonuses.

City of Heroes Weekend Underway, Guest Missions Next Week

With the previously announced Double XP weekend and welcome back program in City of Heroes currently underway, Paragon Studios announces the first missions created by their guest author program will be going live next week. They promise four missions will go live on Tuesday, October 13, outlining three of them, which are authored by New York Times bestselling writer Bill Willingham, Red vs. Blue originators Rooster Teeth, and PvP author Scott Kurtz. In the meantime, the City of Heroes website outlines a new mission arc that's now live, called "How to Save a Convention" in honor of their upcoming Hero-Con.

Scivelation Announced

TopWare Interactive announces Scivelation, a third-person shooter set in a dystopian future in the works at Black Wing Foundation for release in mid-2010 for Windows and unnamed consoles. They've released a few screenshots showing off the game's Unreal Engine 3 visuals. Also, GBASE has some background on this in their native German, saying this project started as a Source Engine game titled Salvation before the engine and title change, and it was originally announced for PC and Xbox 360, which may indicate the game's target console. Here's the announcement:

Las Vegas - Dnepropetrovsk, October 9th, 2009. TopWare Interactive has acquired the exclusive worldwide publishing rights to Scivelation, Black Wing Foundation’s ambitious, story driven, action game. Armed with the Unreal III Engine, Scivelation is slated for a mid-2010 release for PC and next-gen consoles. Scivelation will transform the Third-Person Shooter genre into an unrelenting interactive experience, hurling the player into a blockbuster journey, steeped in conflict and veiled in uncertainty.

Set in the distant future, Scivelation’s universe is a world born out of the ashes of conflict and misery. An oppressive global dictatorship, known as the Regime, has risen to power after the aftermath of the Apocalypse; aggressively seeking out and eliminating any opposition to their tyrannical government. With this capricious, dystopian reality as a backdrop, the player will take his or her place amongst the ranks of the resistance, waging war throughout the furthest reaches of the globe in this action-packed battle for freedom and survival.

WoW Rated Down Under

GameSpot Australia reports that World of Warcraft has finally received a rating in Australia, after operating for several years without a classification, as MMOGs have been allowed to operate unclassified. Blizzard explains this: "However, back in 2004, we were advised by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) that the online-only nature of World of Warcraft was unclassifiable under its definition of computer games at that time. Recent changes at the Classification Board have led to their ability to classify online only games such as World of Warcraft." The classification board disagrees, saying it should have been rated all along: "It is the Board's view that World of Warcraft meets the definition of a computer game provided in the Classification Act and therefore can be classified." Either way, the game and its Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King expansions all now carry an M rating for "fantasy violence," along with consumer advice stating "online content variable." Thanks Big Download.

STO Klingon/Other Faction Details

There's a Star Trek Online Interview on Eurogamer where Cryptic's Craig Zinkievich answers some questions about the upcoming game looking to boldly go where no MMORPG has gone before. They also discuss the change of pace the sci-fi genre represents after working as producer on the two "City of" comic book games, ground combat, melee combat, and more. They discuss how the Klingons are a fully playable race in the game, though it will take several hours of gameplay to unlock the ability to roll up a Klingon. They also go into how Klingon gameplay will differ from Federation gameplay, involving a more PvP focus, and while the game will launch with only two factions, they plan to add more after launch, saying: "the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassians will come back - there's a huge number who want to play as them, but not within the Star Fleet, not within the Federation." Weird side-note of the day: My spell checker thinks "Klingon" should be changed to "Clinton."

Modern Warfare 2 Video, US Battles Confirmed

The latest episode of Gametrailers TV is now online, offering a look at Modern Warfare 2 straight from the offices of Infinity Ward. The clip features thoughts on the game from Vince Zampella and other developers along with a bunch of gameplay footage. They also discuss the revelation in the recent trailer that some of the game's battles will take place in the US, and Vince stresses this will only be part of the game, but is cagy about answering questions about whether the player is part of the attacking or defending forces on US soil. They also discuss and show off multiplayer play, including a look at the co-op Spec Ops mode.

Ships Ahoy - NA Cities XL

Today is the scheduled release date for Cities XL in North America, following yesterday's release in other territories. In addition to the retail release, Monte Cristo's urban planning game is available via digital distribution on Direct2Drive, Impulse, and Steam or as a Limited Edition on Direct2Drive, Impulse, and Steam. A playable demo was released last month, but this was only playable during the month of September.

Worldshift in North America

Got Game Entertainment announces they will be publishing Worldshift in North America, offering the futuristic real-time strategy game from Crytek Black Sea that was released last year in Europe. Here's a bit from the press release:

In the aftermath of a massive asteroid collision, Earth’s survivors splintered -- many now live in futuristic mega-cities, while others represent the tribal remnants of civilization's past. A third faction, an alien race, also stakes its claim in this bold new universe. Playing as Humans, Tribes, or Alien Cult, your daily battles and missions for precious resources will require a shift in thinking and a shift in strategy to prevail in this world shift!

Oddworld PC Plans

The Interview with Lorne Lanning on Bitmob discusses the Oddworld series with the co-founder and creative director of Oddworld Inhabitants. Along the way he reveals plans to bring previously console-only titles Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath to the PC via digital distribution:

So yes, we will be seeing more from Oddworld. Regarding the library, we are in the process of converting Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee and Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath to the PC, so that all four of the major Oddworld games will be re-releasing this winter in a package called "The Oddbox." This will be the Abe games, Munch, and Stranger as one package for Steam's digital distribution network, as well as a few other digital distribution outlets.

Win7 & Diablo II

Planet Diablo outlines problems users have been reporting trying to run Diablo II under Windows 7, some unable to run the game in full screen mode, with others reporting other graphical bugs, and even crashes. They also outline some solutions and workarounds that may help get the old school action/RPG running on the new school OS. Thanks Ant.

Chinese Online Game Crackdown

A Yahoo! Tech article outlines a new crackdown in China, on online games "operating illegally and featuring content deemed to be unhealthy." They say the Beijing News reports authorities have shut down over 45 online games that "encouraged players to engage in illegal activities such as drug trafficking and prostitution."

Op Ed

Modus Pwned – Forced ‘Fun’- Video Games and Compulsive Behavior. Thanks Mike Martinez.
For example, I often speak to people who have forced themselves to finish the main quest in games that they stopped enjoying partway through. A friend of mine spent over fifty hours playing Baten Kaitos, even though I heard nothing but complaining beyond the fifteen-hour mark. Many online discussion forums are littered with people speaking about forcing themselves to complete games that they hated. (Although ‘finish what you start’ is a valuable life principle, we should be careful not to apply it too broadly!)

Kotaku - Is Single-Player Gaming In Danger Of Extinction?
There is some cause for concern for the solo-only player. Massively successful games like Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Valve's Left 4 Dead offered shorter campaign modes in favor of a more robust multiplayer feature set. And StarCraft fans may be more than perturbed about the late release of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, already sliced into three campaigns, largely due to delays with Battle.net, Blizzard's multiplayer service.

Destructoid - The little things that every RPG should have. Thanks Mike Martinez.
Even worse, a great many RPGs shun them altogether, despite how easy they are to include and how big a difference they can make, despite their subtlety. Obviously, we cannot let that stand. Good roleplaying games have been throwing in quiet-yet-wonderful touches without applause for far too long, and it's about time we took notice of the little things.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

  • Left 4 Dead 2 on GameSpy. Multiplayer preview.
  • Mass Effect 2 on IGN. "...the series' Empire Strikes Back."

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Mobilization

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

As hard as it is to believe, today is the 13th anniversary of this site moving to its own domain, as it was on this day back in 1996 that bluesnews.com went online. I would like to thank you all for your support over the years, as well as to thank those who send in news tips and other links. This also seems like a good opportunity to mention some changes are in the works over the next few weeks here. I won't go into detail now, which is bound to provoke speculation, but not to worry, I have no doubts that these will be viewed as positive developments.

Lucky 13 Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Gibbets.
Miami Shark.
Fantastic Contraption.
Links: The 10 Worst FPS Games Of The Past Decade. Thanks Digg.
Five Regrettable Music-Video Game Moments.
Extreme Geek Gaming Art- Legend of Zelda Papercraft Fun. Thanks Neatorama.
Stories: N.D. woman's 7-foot-long dog could be record holder. Thanks brother19.
Looking back at TV's one-episode wonders. Thanks theAntiELVIS.
Police suspect 'Barefoot Burglar' is stealing, crashing planes. Thanks Boing Boing.
Science: How dangerous could a hacked robot possibly be?
Daily Candy in Childhood Linked to Violence in Adulthood. Thanks Slashdot.
New antimatter atomsmashers 'may destroy themselves'. Thanks Slashdot.
Images: Somebody’s Got To Protect The Bacon.
The “up” button!
Media: Top FPS. Thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun. NSFW. Brilliant.
Team Fortress 2- Hide and Seek Mod (Prop-Hunt).
Detroit Lions Defense Outrun by Bears Ballboy.
Auctions: No game is this good- NES cart auction for $20,100.
Follow-ups: Tauntaun Sleeping Bag. Thanks nin.



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