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Friday, Mar 05, 2010

  

R.U.S.E. Public Beta Preloads

Steam News has more on the promised R.U.S.E. public beta that will begin on March 9 to test Ubisoft's upcoming real-time strategy sequel. Preloads are underway for those who want to be prepared, and word is: "Also, be sure to join the official RUSE Steam Community group for the latest details and information about the beta and the upcoming game release." The R.U.S.E. Public Beta page also offers system requirements, which follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Dawn of War II Update Details

The Dawn of War II Website has further details on new content that will be released for all owners of Warhammer 40,0000: Dawn of War II upon the release of the upcoming Chaos Rising DLC for Reilc's RTS sequel. The update outlines new units, a new free-for-all game mode, and new maps which will allow Dawn of War II owners to play online against Chaos Rising owners.

Speedier BC2 Server Browsing

The Electronic Arts UK Forums offer tips on speeding up server browsing for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, DICE's military shooter sequel (thanks Voodoo Extreme). The post follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Supreme Commander 2 Patched

Supreme Commander 2 will be patched the next time owners of Gas Powered Games' real-time strategy sequel log into Steam. The patch notes have word on changes and fixes, balance tweaks, known issues, and word they plan to add ranked one-on-one matches in the future. Here goes. Continue here to read the full story.

Nine Million Free Realms Registrations

Sony Online Entertainment announces that their MMORPG Free Realms now has nine million registered users, though obviously the lack of entry barriers for a free2play game make this a less impressive milestone than for a retail offering. "With Free Realms, we’ve been able to reflect the needs and wants of our players by keenly listening to their suggestions and feedback," says John Smedley, president of SOE. "We believe the persistent exercise of capturing in-game research inside Free Realms has been a huge contributing factor as to why we’ve attracted over nine million players in less than a year. It truly helps us give our players a game where they can do and be whatever they want."

Nation Red Patched

Steam News announces the release of a new automatic update for Nation Red, including Steam cloud support. Here's the change list. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Bringing New Understanding to the Director’s Cut. Thanks j.c.f.

Portal 2 Co-op Details Leak?

The description of just-announced Portal 2 on Gamestop.com's Portal 2 Page has been edited, but previously contained word on a two-player co-op mode. Here's the way the description read before word on co-op was edited out:

Coming this holiday. Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year and draws from the award-winning formula of innovative game play, story, and music that earned the original over 70 industry accolades. Features single and multiplayer co-op modes. The single-player portion of Portal 2 introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements, and a much larger set of devious test chambers. Players will explore never-before-seen areas of the Aperture Science Labs and be reunited with GLaDOS, the occasionally murderous computer companion who guided them through the original game. The game's two-player cooperative mode features its own entirely separate campaign with a unique story, test chambers, and two new player characters. This new mode forces players to reconsider everything they thought they knew about portals. Success will require them to not just act cooperatively, but to think cooperatively.

Order of War: Challenge Demo, Trailer

A playable demo for Order of War: Challenge is now available to provide a sample of Wargaming.Net's standalone multiplayer Order of War World War II strategy game. Accompanying the news is a release trailer for the game (and people say you need professional announcers to do voiceovers... and what's an "instante battle"?), and here's word on the demo: "The demo will allow players to lead any of the three nations – the USA, Germany and the USSR - and test their skills in battles against each. Packing six competitive multiplayer modes – Secure the Base, Mercenaries, Survival, Expansion, Instant Battle and Free-for-All – the demo will provide a wide range of gameplay options." The demo is available on the Order of War: Challenge Website, and it is mirrored on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying. There is also a version of the demo on Steam. Continue here to read the full story.

Majesco Receives NASDAQ Delisting Warning

New Jersey-based publisher Majesco Entertainment has received a delisting warning from NASDAQ, reports IndustryGamers, as the company's common stock dipped below the $1.00 mark, which is the threshold for being listed on the world's largest stock exchange. Majesco now has 180 days to comply with NASDAQ standards, saying: "Compliance will be achieved if the bid price per share of the Company's common stock closes at $1.00 per share or greater for a minimum of 10 consecutive trading days prior to August 30, 2010."

Star Wars: The Old Republic Jedi Consular Details

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Developer Blog offers an update on the Jedi Consular from Joanna Berry, a writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's upcoming MMORPG. Along the way she discusses the balance such a character should have: "For me, the challenge – and the fun – of writing the Jedi Consular is keeping a sense of balance between intelligence and arrogance, between what’s right and what could win the war against the Empire. A Jedi Consular must sometimes accept the grayer path, the less perfect choice. He or she must make the decisions the Republic can’t, in order to save it." Included are a couple of screenshots.

PC Fable III?

WorthPlaying points out a job posting for a Lionhead/Microsoft Game Studios Network Programmer that seemed to have indicated there are plans to bring Fable III to the PC and to provide cross-platform gameplay with the Xbox 360 edition of Lionhead's action/RPG sequel. That's in the past tense because the listing no longer contains the clues they noticed, but apparently at one point the listing indicated the job: "involves converting and maintaining the network code of the Xbox 360 version of this game to the PC, and enabling the Xbox 360 version and the PC version to play together." Big Download points to a post on Koku Gamer where they have a screenshot of the ad before alteration.

BioShock 2 DLC Next Week

2K Games announces March 11 as the specific release date for the Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack DLC for BioShock 2. The announcement describes the pack's content, which is unchanged from when this was announced last month. The news is accompanied by three screenshots, one showing gameplay, and the other two showing character selection screens.

Portal 2 Announced

Steam News has the announcement for Portal 2, the sequel to their highly regarded first-person puzzle platformer, saying it is due this holiday season. This follows on some viral hints that a Portal-related announcement was in the works, and the announcement has several characters underlined, seeming a further part of the alternate reality game surrounding the news. The highlighted characters are: "drattmannh0nee" if you want to puzzle through that one. Here's the announcement:

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Left 4 Dead, Counter-Strike and Half-Life) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Portal 2 for shipment this coming holiday season.

Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Portal, which won 70 industry achievement awards.

For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com

Also, the April Cover Revealed on GameInformer.com has a Portal 2 image, saying: "Our 12-page cover story gives you the first details on Portal 2's new gameplay mechanics, storyline, and some surprising new twists." Update: A post on Kotaku has solved the latest clue in the ARG if you're ready to give up.

Gold - Metro 2033

THQ announces that Metro 2033 is now gold and 4A Games' post-apocalyptic shooter is due for Windows and Xbox 360 on March 16 in the U.S. and Germany, March 18 in Australia, and March 19 everywhere else. There's a new "Ghosts of the Metro" trailer on the Metro 2033 Website showing off the graphics that THQ's Huw Beynon told Computer and Video Games is a PC "love letter," saying: "If you are a core PC gamer and you're wondering where all the love's gone when your PC games are just a slightly higher res version of what's on the console, then I'd say 4A are writing a love letter to you and doing absolutely everything to make the PC version phenomenal." Here's a bit on the game:

The year is 2033. An entire generation has been born and raised underground, and their besieged Metro Station-Cities struggle for survival, with each other, and the mutant horrors that await outside.

You are Artyom, born in the last days before the fire, but raised Underground. Having never ventured beyond your Metro Station-City limits, one fateful event sparks a desperate mission to the heart of the Metro system, to warn the remnants of mankind of a terrible impending threat. Your journey takes you from the forgotten catacombs beneath the subway to the desolate wastelands above, where your actions will determine the fate of mankind.

Project E:st Announced

NHN and Polygon Games announce an upcoming MMORPG codenamed Project E:st that will begin closed beta testing in Korea later this year. The game will use Crytek's CryENGINE 2, as demonstrated in these screenshots and the debut game's trailer. There aren't many details right now, but more may emerge next week as they will be showing the game at Game Developers Conference San Francisco 2010. "The project name, E:st, was selected to show the commitment between NHN Corporation and Polygon Games to develop the best Asia fantasy game," says Wook Jeong, Hangame CEO at NHN Corporation. "We believe that the high graphical quality realized with CryENGINE 2, coupled with an immersive storyline, will strongly appeal to gamers." The short announcement follows. Continue here to read the full story.

PC Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Setback

The Windows edition of Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will arrive in June, reports Eurogamer, saying the PC edition of the platformer is now expected about a month after its May release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii. No explanation for the setback is provided.

StarCraft II Beta Patched

A third StarCraft II beta client is now available, bringing the test version of Blizzard's upcoming real-time strategy sequel to version 0.5.0.14219B. The StarCraft II Forums have the patch notes outlining balance changes and bug fixes (thanks StarcraftWire.net). The notes are reproduced below. Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Strategic Command WWII Global Conflict

Battlefront.com announces that Strategic Command WWII Global Conflict is now available, offering what they call the "biggest and boldest design yet" in the Strategic Command series, saying this "allows players for the first time to wage World War II across the massive expanse of the entire planet, from battles in Europe and North Africa all the way to Asia and the Pacific." A playable demo is available as of yesterday, allowing a sample of the game.

QuakeCon 2010 Announced

QuakeCon 2010 has been announced for August 12-15, reports Shacknews, saying the id Software gaming convention will return to the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, TX. There are no details about specific plans, though they make note of previous indications that more of id's RAGE will be shown off at this year's QuakeCon. Update: The id Software Website has details:

WHAT: QuakeCon is a free convention held yearly in Dallas, Texas brought to you by id Software, Bethesda Softworks and their parent company ZeniMax Media Inc.. Thousands of gamers gather in one location to play with their friends on a giant gaming network, see the latest in cool technology, hear about upcoming games and compete in world-class tournaments.

Continue here to read the full story.

AU Gaming/Smoking Follow-up

A story on News.com.au helps us understand the recent report claiming "gaming causes more harm than smoking," by revealing that the group making that claim has received funding from Michael Atkinson, the South Australian Attorney-General who seems to be the primary obstacle in the R18+ rating movement to allow the sale of games for adults down under. Word is Atkinson's grant, estimated at $33,000, was made in 2006 to support a project called "Know Before You Go" to provide parents information about films suitable for children. Thanks Cyberide.

Meridian4 and Headup Games

Meridian4 and Headup Games announce that Meridian4 will be their digital publisher for the next three years. The first game coming under the deal is Future Wars, the turn-based strategy game expected this spring.

Gray Matter Soundtrack Tune

Jane Jensen's Blog discusses the soundtrack to Gray Matter, her upcoming adventure game. Music for the game is composed by her husband Robert Holmes, who also wrote music for the Gabriel Knight games, and much of it is from a group called The Scarlet Furies, which features Holmes on guitar and Jane's step-daughter (presumably Holmes' daughter). She includes an mp3 of one of the band's songs that's in the game as a sample. Gray Matter is supposed to be released this year after numerous delays, last we saw it was due this month, but Wikipedia notes a report from December on Adventure Gamers saying the game is expected May 21.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Metaverse

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

You may have noticed the forums here blew up a couple of times over the past couple of days, which was a side-effect of a fix Frans has been working on. It turns out that our threaded views were not threading properly, a problem that almost dates back to the 20th century. This has been fixed going forward, and has actually also been fixed going backwards, so that viewing older forum posts in threaded views should now work properly. Big thanks to Frans for some impressive work on this.

Threaded Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Imagicle.
Best Friends Forever 3.
CCCPirates.
Links: Mattel Mindflex hack shocks you into serenity. And opens your blouse. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Dead Xbox 360 is Reborn as a Mechanical Robot. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Still a sticky issue: Singapore keeps gum ban.
New Episodes of Futurama to Premiere in June. Thanks Digg.
Science: Research Calls Forensic DNA Technique Into Question.
Images: Film Industry by the Numbers. Thanks Digg.
Media: 10 Awesome Game Show Answer Fails.
Pedigree Dogs ad shot 1000 FPS. Thanks Hone. Just don't feed that crap to your dogs.
Booby-trapped bike teaches thief a lesson.



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