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Thursday, Feb 25, 2010

  

More Supreme Commander 2 Unit Trailers

Two more trailers are now available from Supreme Commander 2, showing off another pair of exotic experimental units in the real-time strategy sequel being developed by Gas Powered Games. One trailer shows off the mighty Universal Colossus, the successor to the Galactic Colossus from the first game, a mech which GPG's Chris Taylor says is "one of the most incredible units in Supreme Commander 2." The other trailer depicts the Noah Unit Cannon. Chris Taylor describes how units can be constructed inside the cannon, so that when the time is right, they can be fired across the battlefield and right into the action. Both clips are embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Midnight Madness

U.S. game retailer GameStop announces plans to hold midnight madness events for Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to sell DICE's military shooter sequel at the crack of midnight on the game's March 2 release date. This page is where to locate a participating store in your area, and while most stores will open March 1 at 10:00 pm local time for the event, they urge you to call ahead to ensure you are clear on what's going on. They also remind us of their special offers for the game: "Pre-order Battlefield: Bad Company 2 now from GameStop and receive instant access to the AKS-74 assault rifle for multiplayer action. In addition, reserve the game and receive a code for exclusive 30-day early access starting March 2 to the new multiplayer game mode, Squad Rush" (the early Squad Rush access is for Xbox 360 only, DICE has announced it will be unlocked on PC from day one).

Stronghold Kingdoms to be Free

Firefly Studios announces that Stronghold Kingdoms, "the world’s first castle based MMO" they announced last year, will be subscription free when it launches. The game will use a card-based system, and player will receive a set ration of cards each month, and the game's business model will be selling additional cards. "Strategy cards are integral to the game. The skilful use of a card can be the difference between winning and losing a confrontation", says Firefly creative director Simon Bradbury. "Strategy cards bring a new tactical depth to classic Stronghold gameplay, all in an online world of tens of thousands of players."

Interdimensional ARG

Interdimensional Games, a startup founded by Gregory MacMartin (whose gaming résumé includes Relic's Homeworld and Cavedog's cancelled Amen), has launched a pair of websites at interdimensionalgames.com and projectb6.com as preliminary homes to an upcoming unannounced game. If visiting the sites leaves you a little mystified, that's intentional, as this is an alternate reality game (ARG) with hints about the nature of this project. If you are interested, grab your deerstalker hat and magnifying glass and start hunting for clues. Here's one to get you started: You may notice that the Moon slowly orbits the Earth. Wait for it to pass in front of the Sun, creating an eclipse...then click on the Earth.

New Elemental - War of Magic Beta

The Elemental - War of Magic Website has patch notes for a new version 1G beta that's going out today for Stardock's upcoming fantasy strategy game. The beta is open to preorder customers, and included in the notes are all sorts of hard sell on participating, like: "It is VERY buggy, as in, crashes a lot. It has memory leaks still so it will eventually crash," and the even more enticing: "Good luck! I’d say have fun but that’s not gonna happen. I want to again reiterate here: Beta 1 is NOT fun. Will NOT be fun. If you find it fun, you should probably seek medical attention."

The Sims Team Expands

EA announces they have expanded the studio behind The Sims into Salt Lake City, Utah, which was already the home of their LITTLEST PET SHOP and NERF franchises. Word is: "This team will work on a groundbreaking new project that has yet to be announced," for which they are "looking to fill several critical leadership positions." That is all that's game related in an announcement that reads like a travel brochure for the city, which has our more cynical side thinking that they must be getting some pretty tidy local tax breaks.

ATI AvP Hotfix

ATI support now offers a new version 10.2 hotfix for their Catalyst reference drivers to address an issue causing the game to hang after applying DirectX 11 from within the game when playing under the Radeon HD 4700 and 4800 series accelerators. Thanks Big Download.

Direct2Drive Top 10

Direct2Drive announces the top 10 bestselling titles on their digital marketplace for the week of February 14-20:

  1. EverQuest® II Sentinel's Fate
  2. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Limited Edition
  3. Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe Edition
  4. Star Trek Online
  5. BioShock 2
  6. Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition
  7. Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition
  8. Civilization 4: The Complete Edition
  9. Mass Effect 2
  10. Dragon Age: Origins

Gatherings & Competitions

On Sale

Missile Command: 30th Anniversary

Missile Command: 30th Anniversary is a revived version of Atari's arcade classic in honor of 30 years of the game's cold war-inspired action. This is more of a reimagining than a remake, offering enhancements including power-ups, new enemies, upgrades, and an entirely online multiplayer co-operative gameplay option.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: World's First Commercial Jetpack To Be Sold For $75,000. Thanks Acleacius. Let me know if you need my address.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 "Quotes" Trailer

A new "Quotes" trailer is now available for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, showing off some memorable multiplayer kills from DICE's upcoming military shooter sequel, interspersed with quotes and some early review scores from some gaming publications. The HD clip is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Aliens vs Predator Patch Monday

The SEGA Europe Blog has word that a patch for the Windows edition of Aliens vs Predator is on the way that they expect to be released on Monday. They say at that time they "will also have news on an additional feature we know many of you have been waiting for which is now ready for a closed Beta test!" The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Borderlands: The Secret Armory of General Knoxx Released

The Gearbox Software Store now has the promised release of the Windows version of The Secret Armory of General Knoxx, the latest downloadable content for Borderlands, Gearbox Software's role-playing shooter. Word is the pack "adds new guns, new Class Mods, new vehicles, new missions, new enemy types, and increases the level cap to 61. In other words ... best addon ever. Of all time. Forever. The end. ELEVEN!" The new DLC goes together with the new version 1.30 patch for the game released earlier today. GearboxSoftware tweets: "Steam and PS3 versions coming soon; I'll keep you posted!"

Star Trek Online Borg Raid Details, Trailer

Cryptic Studios has issued a Raid Episodes Fact Sheet for Star Trek Online, detailing some planned new Special Task Force missions in the Trekkie MMORPG, almost all of which involve the powerful and mysterious Borg. The first episode is called STF: Infected, which they say is due for release this month (maybe as early as today: see below). Here's how that is described: "Starfleet has lost contact with one of its star bases. More than 400 officers could be lost, including a key member of Starfleet's Borg Task Force. Infiltrate the base and take the fight to the Borg!" Also, Cryptic is soliciting questions about the Klingon content in the game in this forum thread and are offering 240 Cryptic Points to those who fill out this Subscriber Survey, while Massively points the way to West Karana, where they are formulating feedback for Cryptic that doesn't precisely fit with the survey's format. Back to the new task force missions: Accompanying the news is a batch of new screenshots, and a new trailer showing off Borg content and combat, which concludes saying the Infected content will launch today. The HD clip is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Borderlands Patch

GearboxSoftware.com now offers the promised version 1.30 patches for the PC edition of Borderlands, Gearbox Software's role-playing shooter, with one patch for the censored German edition and the other for the rest of the world. The worldwide patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer, FileFront, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying; while the German patch is mirrored on Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying. The complete patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Mytheon Closed Beta Testing

The official Mytheon Closed Beta Test is now underway announces True Games Interactive, saying: "Until now only a limited number of fans had been allowed into the game but now the companies have begun distributing closed beta keys and are inviting Mytheon fans to join in on the closed beta test." They also offer more opportunities to get closed beta keys for Petroglyph's online action/RPG on the Mytheon Website, saying: "All beta keys will be delivered via email a short time after registration." Here's a bit on the test: "All beta test players will experience the excitement of classical mythology come to life when battling a giant Cyclops or challenging the god Hephaestus to control their fate. During the closed beta test period, players will have several opportunities to play alongside the developers and give direct feedback. There will also be several contests communicated through the game forums and patch client at various times."

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Beta Ends, VIP DLC Details

EA tweets that the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 PC beta has concluded, though there is still the chance to offer feedback: "The BETA of Bad Company 2 PC has now ended. Thanks for all the valuable information you gave us. You can still feedback http://bit.ly/bkwf7b." They also announce additional details about the previously announced plan for free day one DLC for the military shooter sequel. They say two maps can be unlocked with the included VIP code when the game launches on March 2 in North America: the Laguna Alta conquest mode map and the Nelson Bay rush mode map, bringing the total number of multiplayer maps in the game to 10. They also say that later in March DICE will release another map pack at no extra charge to those with a VIP code, adding the Arica Harbor conquest mode map and the Laguna Presa rush mode map. "Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will redefine online modern warfare on March 2. We are deeply committed to the FPS community and Battlefield fans worldwide," says Patrick Bach, Senior Producer. "These first two map packs are just the beginning. We’re planning ongoing support for the community by always keeping the experience fresh and ensuring the best possible gameplay experience." The Battlefield Blog offers a Day 1 Map Pack Trailer showing off the new maps as well as a Battlefield Bad Company 2 Celebrity Tournament recap video.

Ships Ahoy - Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943

Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943 is now available, announces Paradox Interactive, saying the World War II strategy game developed by Graviteam and Snowball Studios is now available from most major digital distributors, some of which are offering a 15% discount until March 3 (the two distributors where we see it already are GamersGate and Impulse). The Release Trailer shows off some combat and features "the explosive music of Swedish industrial metal band, Raubtier," and there's a Terrain Comparison Trailer which "offers a further glimpse at the game’s focus on realism, taking viewers to the Kharkov region featured in the game and demonstrating the team’s commitment to visual fidelity." They also say they will give away five copies of the game at the end of the day to members of their Facebook page.

Metro 2033 Specs

THQ's Metro 2033 Page now offers system specifications for the upcoming post-apocalyptic shooter, offering three sets of specs: minimum, recommended, and optimal, as well as a set of specs to support NVIDIA's 3D Vision. They also say: "We also recommend the biggest and best monitor you can afford, and a home cinema kit or surround sound headphones!" CPU specs range from any Core 2 Duo or better to a Core i7 and video card specs go from DirectX 9, Shader Model 3 compliant graphics cards to a DirectX 11 compliant graphics card. On a related note, there's a Metro 2033 interview on Eurogamer focusing on technical aspects of the game and its engine and there's also an interview on VG247 that concentrates more on gameplay. The full specs follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Order of War: Challenge Delayed

Wargaming.net announces March 12 is the new release date for Order of War: Challenge, the multiplayer World War II real-time strategy game that was supposed to be released today. The game was announced only three weeks ago, and a release date was set all of two days later, and we think a game being announced, delayed and released all within a six week span will represent some sort of record. They explain the delay saying the two additional weeks will be for optimizing game performance and QA for a more polished product. "We are committed to delivering quality products," says Victor Kislyi, CEO of Wargaming.net, "that's why we decided to give Order of War: Challenge some more time that will be spent on enhancing and polishing certain areas of the game. That is the only reason for the delay." The news is accompanied by some new screenshots.

On Game Investments

The Boston Globe discusses the state of investment in video game development, focusing on local development, but offering perspective on the industry as a whole. Word is: "According to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers, venture capitalists made 35 game software investments nationwide in 2008, for a total of $214 million. Last year, the number dropped to 25, with a total value of $153.7 million." They say that investors are less enchanted with chasing bestsellers, quoting Spark Capital general partner Alex Finkelstein saying "We don’t want to invest in hits-driven businesses." They say investors would rather fund low-cost casual games and companies that provide tools and services to the gaming industry.

Op Ed

Gamasutra - When Console To PC Conversions Go Awry.
Ninja Blade is an insane game. It's generic and predictable, but you almost suspect it wants to be, and it magnifies those genre quirks into something utterly overblown and ridiculous. I'm not really into that anyway, and even without the impenetrable wall of PC-specific problems, I still don't find Ninja Blade to be anything above utterly mediocre. That's fine, though - a lot of people will be okay with the game's approach. It's okay for players to disagree over a game's quality.

Except, I must admit to being completely dumbfounded by the handful of positive reviews this PC version has received. That's because, as a PC game, I found it to be borderline unplayable. With an Xbox 360 pad plugged in, it basically works - aside from a couple of controller glitches here and there. But to what extent is it acceptable to release a game for one format, while essentially demanding you use the controller from another one?

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well the promised bigger storm is upon us here in the northeast, where we've had more than our share of nor'easters this winter (not that any other area should expect any at all). It looks crazy sloppy out there, and a lot of the area north of us has lost power, so this one is kind of dangerous: hopefully everyone is being careful out there.

Dangerous Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Penguin Diner 2.
EON.
Stories: David Goyer Pens Superman Reboot. Thanks nin.
Unreleased Hendrix recordings on their way.
Why Do Dogs Howl at 'Law & Order' Song?
Science: Giant predatory shark fossil unearthed in Kansas.
Women are cleverer than men, says research.
Images: We’re totally stealing that costume idea.
Jean Claude Van Damme Punching a Snake.
Media: Honking Mad.
How Soldiers Cross the Road.
Failed service dog becomes SURFice dog.
Follow-up: First of two storms blankets Northeast. Thanks brother19.



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