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Tuesday, Feb 02, 2010 Happy Groundhog Day

  

Aliens vs. Predator Demo This Week, New Trailers

AvPGalaxy has an updated story on plans for an Aliens vs. Predator demo, saying a sample of Rebellion's upcoming sci-fi shooter will hit Steam, XBLA, and the PSN on Thursday, February 4, and will feature multiplayer. Also, a new multiplayer trailer shows off the Predator Hunt mode from AvP, which is reminiscent of the old joke asking what the dog chasing a car plans to do if he catches it. Also, there's a new Infestation Mode Trailer on AvPGalaxy, where they also have a full list of AvP weapons and abilities. The embedded Predator Hunt trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Commander: Conquest of the Americas Details

Paradox Interactive announces some details about Commander: Conquest of the Americas, the upcoming trading card-influenced strategy game that was unveiled at the Paradox Interactive Convention. They point to a trailer on the YouTube with some footage of sailing ships from the game and this interview trailer where Nitro Games lead designer Kim Soares discusses the game. Paradox says the game "combines the best elements of trading and strategy games," allowing players "to take control of a wide variety of European nations in efforts to conquer the New World." Here's a feature list:

• Choose from 6 different European factions
• Manage your colonies’ resources, production, military, and much more
• Game world spanning the Caribbean to Hudson Bay
• Naval battles with as many as 30 ships in varied environments and 2 different control modes
• Ally yourself with the natives or manipulate them against rival powers

Namco Bandai Cuts

Japanese developer/publisher Namco Bandai announces it will undergo a restructuring, and will cut 630 jobs from its 7,000 person workforce by the end of the 2010 fiscal year, reports Kotaku. They say the company estimates that it will be posting ¥31 billion ($342 million) loss this March, blaming the downturn on "poor performance of key titles."

Codemasters Cuts

Codemasters has laid off its American marketing staff, and plans on shutting the operation down, reports IGN. "They got a lot of money injected into the company a few years back and had some big plans to open up the U.S. office, but it didn't really work out like they wanted it to with the games over here," a source tells them. "They had good intentions with titles like Rise of the Argonauts -- just not the right teams."

Sid Meier's Civilization Network in June

Variety.com reports that Sid Meier's Civilization Network, the recently announced online strategy game for Facebook, will launch in June of this year. Thanks Big Download.

Team Fortress 2 Propaganda Poster Runners-up

The Team Fortress 2 Website offers some of the great submissions for the Team Fortress 2 propaganda poster contest that were relegated to runner-up status. There are some very impressive efforts that failed to make the cut.

On Sale

  • Titan Quest Gold on Steam. Save 75% (actually 83%).

    Still on sale (previously reported)
      Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Transformers tops Razzie awards ahead of Oscars. Battlefield Earth should be a lock for worst of the decade.

More BioShock 2 Midnight Madness

2K Games announces more midnight madness plans for BioShock 2 in addition to the recently announced midnight openings at Best Buy, saying some GameStop locations will also burn the midnight oil on February 8/9 to help get the shooter sequel into eager hands the moment it's officially released. They say: "Additionally, those who pre-ordered the game through GameStop will receive two bonus characters* - Blanche the Actress and Zigo the Fisherman - to use in the game’s multiplayer mode. The road to the launch of BioShock 2 kicks off tonight, with the debut of a 3 minute 15 second trailer during the first commercial break of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon." That asterisk leads to a footnote with the following warning: "* Pre-order incentive items are while supplies last. Please check with local store to confirm Midnight Launch event before attending."

Impulse Top 10

The Impulse Weekly Top 10 for the week of January 24-30 is now online:

  1. Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment
  2. Gratuitous Space Battles
  3. Sins of a Solar Empire: Diplomacy (Pre-Order)
  4. Armada 2526
  5. Sins of a Solar Empire
  6. Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition
  7. Light of Altair
  8. Mass Effect 2 (Pre-Order)
  9. Sword of the Stars Ultimate
  10. Star Trek Online (Pre-Order)

The Sims 3 Patch & Add-on Released

The Sims 3 Website has news that The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff (and they say all the good titles are taken!) is now available, to add some high-end virtual "stuff" to your virtual loft. EA also announces the release of new patches for The Sims 3 that are required in order to install the digitally distributed edition of the new add-on. The patches update The Sims 3 to version 1.9 and The Sims 3: World Adventures add-on to version 2.4. Finally, they announce the next gift in their tenth anniversary celebration is now available, and while the link they provide is broken at the moment, we've got your backs, and here is where to download the free content, since no one should be deprived of the chance to won their own neon pink flamingo.

Starships Ahoy - Star Trek Online - New Races for Sale

Atari announces that Star Trek Online is now available in North America, and that over a million Star Trek fans have already created accounts relating to the game. A new ground combat trailer from the game shows what happens when the weapons come out and the redshirts start disintegrating. On a related note, Direct2Drive announces that those who purchase the game from them will be entered into a drawing for one of four prizes, including the grand prize of an awesome corgi replica Enterprise valued at around $1200. Finally, MMORPG.com points out that two new races are already being sold in the Cryptic Store, saying: "Federation Klingon and Federation Ferengi can both be had for 240 and 80 Cryptic Points respectively." Here's word on the game: "Taking place in the year 2409, Star Trek Online boasts extraordinary features and lets fans both new and old experience unparalleled adventures. Players have the opportunity to become a high ranking Starfleet officer and participate in missions that take them into the depths of space, across exotic planets and even inside other starships. Star Trek Online offers total customization, from a player's avatar to the ship he captains." Here's the embedded clip. Continue here to read the full story.

Borderlands Patch

GearboxSoftware.com offers a new patch for Borderlands, updating the role-playing shooter from Gearbox Software to version 1.21. They say this improves multiplayer connectivity, and "users should no longer be required to forward ports to host or join multiplayer games." The new version also fixes distorted shadows or graphical glitches that showed up after update 1.0.1, and improves the 3D Vision crosshair. Word in the Gearbox Software Community Forum is: "If you have a digitally distributed version, you should be provided the updates by your distrubutor [sic] (Steam, D2D, etc)." The patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, and WorthPlaying. The patch for the less gory German version is available on WorthPlaying.

Ships Ahoy - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

Viva Media and bitComposer Games announce that S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat is now available in North America, offering the third installment in GDC Game World's first-person shooter series set in the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear power plan accident. Word is: "Where most first person shooters rely on relentless action to engage their players, Call of Pripyat goes in an entirely different direction, allowing for long moments of silence amidst a desolate landscape and an ever changing vista. The environment is dynamic: day and night alternate and are filled with thunderstorms and sunshine, and the game's artificial intelligence interacts with itself beyond the peripheral of the player. The game truly takes on a life of its own."

The Secret World Trailer

A new "Kingsmouth Location" trailer from The Secret World offers more background on this recently unveiled location in Funcom's upcoming MMORPG. The clip describes a mysterious event that left the citizens of the town fighting hoards of undead, and offers the first in-game footage from the conspiracy-themed project. The embedded clip follows. Continue here to read the full story.

PAX East Exhibitors and Musicians

Warning the event will sell out, the PAX East 2010 organizers announce musical performers and exhibitors for the upcoming east coast version of the Penny Arcade Expo, which will take place in Boston, MA March 26-27. Exhibitors will include 2K Games, Dell, EA, Harmonix, Microsoft, Nintendo, NVIDIA, Rockstar Games, Sega, The Behemoth, Turbine, Twisted Pixel Games, Ubisoft, and Wizards of the Coast. They also announce performances are planned by the following musical acts: Anamanaguchi, Jonathan Coulton, MC Frontalot, Metroid Metal, Paul and Storm, Protomen, and The Video Game Orchestra.

Mercenary Wars Patched

A new update is live for Mercenary Wars, the subscription-free online first-person shooter. The new version adds a new character, four new weapons, new items and a new clan match system that includes "Quick Matches." Word is: "The first major content update for Mercenary Wars features a brand-new character, F.N.A.L, a former Freedom Fighter, and four new weapons including a Dragunov sniper rifle, and two more rifles. Also included is a new system that features "Clan Matches" where new channels are added where clans can challenge each other in clan matches. Players can also do "Quick Matches" to instantly be paired against other clans waiting to battle, search for clans, create clan announcements, and much more! In addition, players are now able to purchase numerous experience bonus items, stat reset items, fast respawn items, and more with real money."

World of Warcraft Patched

The World of Warcraft Current Patch Notes reflect a new version 3.3.2 update that's now available to update Blizzard's MMORPG with a number of changes to dungeons & raids, classes, items, the UI, and more, including the addition of Frostwing Halls to the Icecrown Citadel, which is the final stronghold of the Scourge and their Lich King. For those looking for a manual patch for the new version, various language patches are available on AtomicGamer, FileFront, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying.

Order of War: Challenge Announced

Wargaming.net announces Order of War: Challenge, a standalone multiplayer add-on for Order of War, updating the World War II real-time strategy game with exclusive bonus content and a focus on fast-action gameplay. The add-on will be released through Steam, and will be free to those who own the original game. Challenge will offer six extended modes, 12 maps, co-op survival missions, and hundreds of units, all detailed on the Order of War Website. Here are some Order of War: Challenge screenshots and a gameplay trailer, which is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Making History II Delayed

Muzzy Lane announces a new release date for Making History II, the upcoming World War II strategy sequel, just in time, as the game was supposed to be released today. They say the game is now due in late Q1/early Q2 of this year, but offer no reasons for the delay. Some new Making History II screenshots accompany the announcement. Update: We now have a statement from Muzzy Lane on the reasons for the setback: "Muzzy Lane is committed to delivering quality products. At the end of the current development cycle for Making History II, the developer realized the game could use polishing in certain areas in order to meet the company’s quality standards. That is the sole reason for the delay: to deliver a polished, bug-free release to grand strategy fans on day one."

Counter-Strike: Source Patched

Steam News has word on a new patch that's automatically available for Counter-Strike: Source, while another note adds word on a new automatic update for Magnetis addressing a couple of display issues. The Counter-Strike: Source change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Alien Assault Patched

TEARDOWN.se now offers a new patch for Alien Assault to update this freeware game based on Space Hulk to version 1.021. Word is: "Today we have released a new patch fixing one major and few minor issues found in v1.02. The patch is only an update of the executable so there should be no issues with adding this patch to custom content modified versions of v1.02. If you do not have installed Alien Assault before there is also a full installation of v1.021 available." The download is mirrored on Strategy Informer. Thanks Morris. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

BioShock 2 Multiplayer Interview

There's a BioShock 2 interview on WorthPlaying talking with Allen Goode of Digital Extremes about their contribution to BioShock 2 multiplayer. They cover various aspects of multiplayer play, along the way explaining the ranking system they've devised: "We rate skill, and when I say 'skill,' I don't necessarily mean the rank you see as a player. As you progress and gain ADAM, you'll gain rank and you'll see a little number beside your name. That number is more representative of your experience level or how much you've played over time but not necessarily your skill. Behind the scenes, we have another number that is what your actual skill ranking would be as a player. If I'm a new player, I'd obviously be ranked zero. It would have a hard time determining who to put me up against, aside from other zeroes. Preferably, the system will try to match you with players who have a similar skill level, rather than an experience level."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat on Eurogamer.

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue



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