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Wednesday, Jun 09, 2010

  

Dawn of War II Patched

Steam News announces the promised new patch is now automatically available for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising, updating Relic's real-time strategy sequel to version 2.2.3. The new version includes extensive balance changes, adds cover seek behavior, and also adds the community map contest winner.

Left 4 Dead 2 Patched

A new version of Left 4 Dead 2 is now automatically available through Steam, with a number of changes and fixes for Valve's co-op zombie shooter. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Guild Wars 2 Details

A new update to the Guild Wars 2 Website introduces the Warrior class from Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet's upcoming MMORPG sequel. The update includes some details on warrior weapons and other gameplay elements related to the class, illustrated by some new screenshots. There's also a Traits Overview where game designer Ben Miller explains the game's traits system in detail. Thanks Guild Wars 2 Slovenija.

FPS Manifesto

A post on FragWorld.Org offers what they call "The First Person Shooter Community Manifesto," a list of desired features for future first-person shooter games compiled thanks to a meeting of members of the community (thanks joao). They have a recording of the audio from that meeting for download, and the lists of their essential and suggested FPS features follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Heroes in the Sky Closed Beta Tomorrow

Closed beta testing of Heroes in the Sky is set to begin tomorrow at 2:00 pm EDT, offering the chance to sample this MMO third-person shooter centering on World War II aerial combat. They are currently accepting sign-ups for the beta, and the first ten users to participate in the beta will win $100.00 USD, while 100 users will be selected randomly through out the day to win $10.00. Here's a bit on the game: "The free-to-play game features fast-paced aerial combat that embodies the intense danger akin to WWII dogfights. In Occupational War Game Mode, players will recreate critical battles of the European and Pacific front complete with WWII planes to help their side take control as they experience epic battles across the history of WWII from both sides! Players will find an easy-to-use upgrade system to help tweak planes and become the ultimate airborne marauder along with additional modifications that will allow players to, not only jam the electronics of their opponent, but also let them keep their own engines cool during boosts. Heroes in the Sky will give players a chance to relive history as they fly dozens of planes from WWII- both experimental and battle hardened - that can be customized to meet their own creative standards."

Need for Speed World Interview

There's a Need for Speed World Q&A on Ten Ton Hammer chatting with EA Black Box about the upcoming MMO installment in the long-running racing series. They discuss the game's microtransaction-driven business model, leveling up, how much single-player play is included, community features, and more. Also, as a former Motor City Online player, I can't let the comment about Need for Speed World being the first western racing MMOG pass without correction, especially since MCO was developed under the title Need for Speed: Motor City.

Neversoft's Shooter Plans

A LinkedIn Job Listing spotted by superannuation calls for a "Level Builder at Neversoft Entertainment in Woodland Hills, CA," offering a hint about their future plans. Word is: "Neversoft Entertainment, located in Woodland Hills, CA, is currently seeking experienced Level Builders to work on new action shooter game. If you have a passion for design, and you can create realistic levels by bringing concept art to life, then we are looking for you."

Mass Effect Graphic Novel Released

BioWare tweets that the Mass Effect Redemption graphic novel is now available, offering a link to Amazon.com's listing, where word is: "Mass Effect 2 lead writer Mac Walters reveals an essential moment in the life of Commander Shepard, the galaxy's greatest hero, only in Mass Effect: Redemption! The eagerly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster science-fiction epic IGN.com named the #1 Xbox 360 game of all time, Mass Effect 2 begins with the disappearance of Commander Shepard. The story of what happens next - exclusive to this graphic novel - will have the commander's companion Dr. Liara T'Soni undertake a deadly mission of extraordinary importance in the Milky Way's lawless Terminus Systems."

On Sale

  • Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition on Steam. Save 50%.
  • eversion on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Father's Day Sale on the EA Store.

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

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Mac Team Fortress 2 Tomorrow

The Macintosh edition of Team Fortress 2 will be released tomorrow, assuming our interpretation of the carefully encoded message on the Team Fortress 2 Blog is correct. This is what they promise for tomorrow: "Big things are happening RIGHT NOW at Valve. Things involving cultivated tree-fruit. BIG things. Things that rhyme with 'grapple.' Things that rhyme with 'Speem Gortress zmavailable on the Babac.'" So this is either Team Fortress available on the Mac, or, of course, Cream Shortness inhalable on the Rack. Stay tuned for the answer.

Champions of Mytheon Package

UTV True Games announces the "Champions of Mytheon" package a premium bundle for Mytheon, the upcoming multiplayer action/RPG. Actually, super-premium is probably a better description of this bundle, as it carries a price of $129.95 USD, especially eye-opening considering the game will be free to download and play. To justify that cost, the bundle includes an impressive amount of goodies for the game, and they seem confident in the demand, as sales are limited to the first 2,000 purchasers, who will all be entered into a Weekend of the Gods drawing for an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas, NV. Here's word:

For the lucky first 2,000 players, this highly exclusive package will include 2500 Mytheon Coins, 50 Flowing Vitality Elixirs, 50 Elixirs of Combined Wisdom, 25 Death Defying Elixirs, one Item Lottery Pack and one Large Stone Bundle valued at $94.50 USD. In addition to securing their exclusive place in the Mytheon community, "Champions" will also receive their real names listed in the Mytheon credits, a limited edition Mytheon poster signed by the development team, a unique tee-shirt and game access to new content several days prior to other players. Champions will also gain exclusive access to experience content from the upcoming expansion pack for Mytheon - the land of Egypt -- in a special test server where only they are given entry, along with a special forum signature that is only available to them.

This list of exclusives doesn't end there; Champions will receive three special weapons, one per class that will be visually unique, statistically powerful, level with the characters and only available to Champions package purchasers. The package will come with all inventory slots unlocked, a $20 USD value, and a 15% discount on Mytheon Coins for the lifetime of their account. Champions will also be able to display their status with an in-game badge identifying them as a Champion and flagged for entry into all future UTV True Games products' beta test periods.

Global Agenda Patched

As noted in this update on the Hi-Rez Studios Website and on Steam News, a new hotfix patch is now automatically available for Global Agenda, the espionage-themed MMO shooter. Here are the patch notes: Continue here to read the full story.

Altitude Patched

A new update for Altitude is automatically available through Steam, with new control options and an offline mode among the changes to this 2D aerial combat game. The patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Demigod Patched

Impulse News announces a new patch is now available through Impulse for Demigod, updating Gas Powered Games' multiplayer action/strategy game to version 1.3 (thanks The Patches Scrolls). The announcement has the patch notes, as does this forum thread, which fosters discussion of the new version. These patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Dawn of War II Patch Plans

The Dawn of War II Community Website has word on plans for a new version 2.2.3 patch for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising, which may be released as early as today (thanks The Patches Scrolls). They offer version 2.2.3 release notes outlining a number of balance changes and the addition of Hive City, a new community map contest winner, which is available for custom games.

Back to the Future Game Plans

An AP Entertainment article about Telltale Games confirms yesterday's indication of plans for an episodic Jurassic Park game, and adds that Telltale also plans to go back to the cinematic past to create a Back to the Future game, saying: "The as-yet-untitled Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC and Mac games are set to be released this winter." These projects are part of a deal with Universal Studios. "'Jurassic Park' and 'Back to the Future' are two of our broadest and most beloved properties," said Bill Kispert, interactive vice president at Universal Studios. "We were very interested in bringing them into the interactive space, but they're not exactly the kind of properties that lend themselves to the stereotypical shoot-'em-up style of gameplay." Here's a bit more, quoting Telltale's Dan Connors:

Connors said the games, which are in the early stages of development, would tell new stories extending the "Back to the Future" and "Jurassic Park" lore. He teased that the "Back to the Future" games may include a DeLorean ride back to the 1970s while the "Jurassic Park" games would be intense and add new backstories to the series' man-versus-dinosaur mythology.

"The games are going to exist within these worlds," said Connors. "I wouldn't call these games sequels per se but a new interpretation of their worlds for a new medium. For one generation, it's an introduction to these series. For another generation, it's a thing they can look back on and something they can share warmly with their family and friends."

Sniper: Ghost Warrior Tactics

A new Basic Tactics Guide trailer for Sniper: Ghost Warrior is now available, demonstrating several aspects of the upcoming sniper-themed first-person shooter. The clip shows the assistance offered to gamers on easy difficulty, and how this changes in hard mode, also showing tactics like use of the grappling hook to reach sniping spots, using cover, cooperating with your spotter, playing as a spotter, using stealth, and more. The clip is accompanied by some new screenshots, and here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Portal 2 Delayed

Valve announces Portal 2 is delayed, now saying that that 2011 is the Valve Time translation of the holiday 2010 release window the announcement of the first-person platform sequel mentioned. They also take this opportunity to stress that they promised a Portal 2 surprise at E3, as the internet runs amok with Half-Life rumors. Here's word:

VALVE ANNOUNCES MAKING GAMES IS HARD

June 9, 2010 -- Aperture Science, doing business as Aperture Laboratories LLC, in partnership with Valve today announced the successful completion of an ethics-review-panel-supervised release date restructuring process. Portal 2, the sequel to the ground-breaking title that earned over 30 Game of the Year awards despite missing its original ship date, is now targeted for a 2011 release.

Representatives from both companies acknowledged that public safety concerns factored into the decision. They went on to say that even though Portal 2 will arrive slightly later than planned, all life on earth won't instantaneously stop as every molecule in your body explodes at the speed of light, which is what would happen should a rip ever appear in the fabric of Valve Time.

"Also, the game will be even better," they added, missing an historic opportunity to create the first product delay press release to mention that a product is being delayed to make it worse.

To ask questions about how close we all came to dying, or to ask futile questions about the previously announced E3 ***PORTAL-2-THEMED-FOR-GOD'S SAKE*** surprise or, less futilely, to schedule an appointment to attend a Portal 2 screening at the Valve booth during E3, please contact Valve's delegate to the EU's Valve Time Studies Group, Doug Lombardi.

No Respawn at E3

Respawn Entertainment will not be making any announcements at E3, reports IGN, who received word on this from Electronic Arts following recent indications to the contrary on Facebook.

New LucasArts President

LucasArts announces that Paul Meegan will become their new President, replacing Darrell Rodriguez, who parted ways with LucasArts last month. This is reported on IGN, where they offer a quick rťsumť: "Before landing president of LucasArts, Meegan was CEO at Epic Games China and held senior positions at Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Shanghai and Jaleco Entertainment. He was also the founder of Sinister Games, Inc. and a partner at Axion Pacific Capital."

StarCraft Fixers Banned

The players implicated in the Korean pro StarCraft fixing scandal are permanently banned from playing the real-time strategy game professionally in Korea, and are having their awards and records wiped from the record books, reports Team Liquid (thanks Mike Martinez via 1UP). They have a list of the players banned.

Vanguard Servers to Merge

Sony Online Entertainment announces they plan to consolidate Vanguard: Saga of Heroes onto a single server, with the three US Telon servers to be merged on July 7 followed in August by the assimilation of the Halgar server as well. Word is: "It is our hope that this integration will result in a more consistent and higher player population which will, in turn, lead to an even more enjoyable and beneficial player experience." They are offering players the chance to vote on the name of the new single server. Thanks Kxmode.

Fallout: New Vegas Using Steamworks

A Fallout: New Vegas Fan Interview on the Bethesda Softworks Forums has info on the upcoming Fallout game from the game's producers and developers. Included is an answer from Jason "loonyboi" Bergman on the game's use of Steamworks (thanks VG247). Word is: "Fallout: New Vegas will fully utilize the Steamworks SDK. This means that retail PC copies will activate via Steam. We are also using Steam for achievements and other features (but not multiplayer, of course. FNV remains a single player only game)."

Call of Duty: Black Ops Interview

There's a Call of Duty: Black Ops Developer Interview on Games On Net getting Treyarch Senior Producer Dan Bunting and Studio Head Mark Lamia on camera to discuss the next installment in the Call of Duty series of military shooters (thanks Joker961). Word is: "During our time with the guys we covered off the unique co-op mode (nope, it's not a co-op campaign), region filtering for Aussies, the game's tech and a bunch of other good stuff."

Transformers: War for Cybertron Interview

Transformers: War for Cybertron interview on Gaming Nexus starts out as a toaster-oven before transforming into a conversation with Rob Burns of High Moon Studios about their upcoming Transformers prequel game. Topics include previous games based on this property, their response to criticisms of their Bourne Conspiracy game, new ideas they are exploring, multiplayer support, the games art and audio, the story, their hopes of continuing the series with sequels and DLC, and more.

SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG

MTV Networks Asia announces plans for an MMOG based on the animated SpongeBob SquarePants series, of all things. At this point this is only announced for an Asian release, here's word: "MTV Networks Asia, a division of Viacom Inc (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), and leading Asian online games company GigaMedia Limited (NASDAQ: GIGM) today announced plans to co-develop and jointly publish the first Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) based upon Nickelodeonís global smash hit, SpongeBob SquarePants. The game will be the first Nickelodeon television property to be developed as an MMOG, and Viacomís first to be developed outside of the United States. The SpongeBob SquarePants MMOG will launch in 2011 in multiple languages for players in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and India."

Op Ed

The Ghetto - Battle.net 2.0: The Antithesis of Consumer Confidence. Thanks Mike Martinez.
I see things different than Activision-Blizzard. The company wants a real-time strategy game that appeals to your momís bridge club. I see a game that needs its ďbaseĒ to succeed. In the grand scheme of things, Starcraft II is not just a video game. Itís an attempt to consolidate a competitive gaming scene under the banner of its creator. Itís another effort to consolidate control of what you can do with a computer game. And to do this, Activision-Blizzard needs the people who will create the next Defense of the Ancients, who scour Youtube for shoutcasts, who rattle off the CJ Entus roster like itís their Dallas Cowboys. And you ainít sold Battle.net 2.0 to us. You ainít got our confidence. All we see is an Activision-Blizzard thatís doomed to repeat their history.

CNN.com - Why do video games make such bad movies?
Sadly, as illustrated by "Prince of Persia," the latest film adapted from a popular video game, the more things change, the more they play the same. Decades after the debut of "The Wizard," a thinly disguised, feature-length Nintendo commercial, the marriage between Hollywood and gaming remains rocky at best. In other words: Movies based on video games stink.

Games for Windows Top LIVE Titles

The LIVE Activity for week of May 31st list on Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson's Blog once again offers the Games for Windows Top LIVE Titles (based on UUís), saying: "These lists are based on global unique users connected to Xbox Live or in the case of Arcade and Indie Games, full versions purchased during the week." Here goes: Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A reader sent along a note yesterday to warn me his machine picked up a virus infection from a page on CVG after following a link to there from here. I was skeptical this was the case on such a major site, so I visited the page to see what was up. A couple of minutes later I got an antivirus pop-up that started scanning, saying I was infected with a virus, except this was not actually from my AV software. I killed this with the task manager, and removed the infection using Malwarebytes, and restored my system from earlier in the day. I got some weird responses from my antivirus software, and the infection recurred, so I realized the AV software got hijacked along the way, and I repeated that procedure adding an uninstall and reinstall to the checklist, which seems to have cleared things up, ending my tale of woe.

You hear stories about being able to get a virus payload from visiting a page and not even clicking links, but I never knew anyone who actually experienced that (until now), with the weird part being I must have visited the site to post the link in the first place, without incident. Anyway, I notified CVG about the problem, and can only hope that not many of you were impacted by this, and if you were, you managed to clear things up without having to do anything drastic.

R.I.P.: Marvin Isley, Isley Brothers Bass Guitarist. Thanks Mike Martinez.
R.I.P.: Jack Harrison, the last survivor of The Great Escape dies at 97. Thanks Joker961.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: R-Type: Stage 01.
The Spline.
Kill The Weeds. Thanks Javier.
Links: This Is Pete Rose's Corked Bat. Thanks nin via Dubious Quality.
6 Companies That Make Money Solving Problems (They Made Up). Thanks Joker961.
The Most Expensive and the Coolest Home Theatre in the World. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Lost WWII battlefield found -Ė war dead included. Thanks Joker961.
Banks Paying Colleges For Students Who Rack Up Credit Card Debt.
Dogfish Head Unveils Miles Davis-Inspired Beer, Bitches Brew.
Science: Do aliens live on a Saturn moon? Thanks Kxmode.
Heart attack admissions fall after smoking ban.
Crocodiles Can Surf Across Oceans, Scientists Say.
Images: The Women of Steampunk 2010.
Meet the Tiger Dog- Chinese owners dye pets to look like wild animals.
Camping Newbies Are Always Easy To Spot.
Media: You Became A Meme.
Follow-up: Ocean Saratoga: Another Oil Spill In The Gulf? Coast Guard Investigates.



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