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Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010

  

Portal 2 Retail Plans

EA Partners and Valve announce a retail distribution agreement for Portal 2, the upcoming first-person puzzler sequel. The announcement places the game's current release date as April 21, 2011, which is in keeping with the recent announcement to expect the game the week of April 18th. "Portal 2 is Valve's most innovative title in the company's history and will be launched with a first-class launch campaign this April," said Doug Lombardi, vice president of marketing at Valve. "We're excited to be working with Electronic Arts to deliver this title as we expand our platform strategy to include the Mac and PlayStation 3 platforms."

Free R.U.S.E. DLC

Ubisoft is now offering The Manhattan Project Pack, new free DLC for R.U.S.E., their real-time strategy game. The pack is available for free through Steam, Xbox LIVE, and the PlayStation Network. Word is: "The Manhattan Project Pack offers new challenges, including 3 exclusive multiplayer maps, along with 2 additional multiplayer modes. These modes will affect strategy and pace, and allow player to create nuclear cannons and benefit from accelerated technology evolution."

Windows 8 and Gaming

An article on TechRadar UK about Microsoft's Windows 8 plans suggests the next version of the operating system will include the next effort by Microsoft to support PC gaming. They quote an unnamed source on the topic: "Windows 8 will represent a real new push into PC gaming," the source told them. "Gaming will be a key component for the whole OS." Thanks Big Download.

StuntMANIA Reloaded Demos

The StuntMANIA Website now offers version 1.0 of StuntMANIA Reloaded, as well as playable Windows and OS X demos for the new version of the stunt driving game. The demos are available on this page, where it is explained the demo is limited to one stunt car and one environment. The demos are mirrored on Gamer's Hell and WorthPlaying.

Gamebryo Acquired

Korean company Gamebase announces the acquisition of the assets of Emergent Game Technologies, including the game engines Gamebryo and LightSpeed 3D. "The Gamebryo 3D engine has been a flexible, transparent, dependable solution for video game developers and publishers globally and has been used to develop hundreds of titles," said JY Park, president of Gamebase. "Our first goal is to focus on the company’s roots - working closely with customers and providing excellent customer service. This is one of the key reasons why Gamebryo evolved into such a popular development engine." Here word on some of the many places you've seen this technology: "Best known for its industry-leading 3D game engines, Gamebryo and LightSpeed, Emergent's technologies have been selected by studios around the world to bring nearly 300 titles across more than 15 genres to market, including Game of the Year award-winning titles like Fallout 3, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, as well as critically acclaimed titles like Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, Civilization Revolution, Speed, Divinity II – Ego Draconis and Bully."

King's Bounty: Crossworlds Patch

A new patch is now available for King's Bounty: Crossworlds to update the action/RPG sequel to version 1.3.1. The new version is available in the King's Bounty: Crossworlds Product Section. The download is mirrored on Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying.

Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition Patch

This page offers a new patch for Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition, updating the fantasy-themed sports game to version 2.0.1.0. The patch applies to any version of the game other than those purchased through Steam, which will update automatically. The download is mirrored on Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying, and the automatic update for the Steam edition is now available. The patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Holiday Gift Guide 2010 week 4 on GamersGate has dozens of titles on sale along with a buy four, pay for three promotion. There are more than 1000 titles on sale in the Steam Holiday Sale. Direct2Drive has three different coupon codes, offering up to 25% off, depending on how much you spend. Virtually the entire catalogue of DRM-free good old games at GOG.com is on sale for up to 50% off through the new year, and they are giving away Tyrian 2000 for free. The Humble Indie Bundle #2 offers the chance to pay what you want for a bundle of Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and Revenge of the Titans, once again allowing you to give some of your contribution to charity. Two or more eligible games on the EA Store are 50% off. There are a bunch of strategy games on sale on Matrix Games.

  • Aliens vs. Predator on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Assassin's Creed 2 on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Bully: Scholarship Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Day of Defeat: Source on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Just Cause 2 on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Mount and Blade Warband on Impulse. Save 75%.
  • Railworks 2 on Steam. Save 85%.
  • Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Sam & Max Save the World Full Season on Telltale Games. Save 85%.
  • SPORE Complete Pack on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Tales of Monkey Island Complete Pack on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Trials 2: Second Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Zuma's Revenge! on Steam. Save 60%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: A Very Zombie Holiday. Thanks The Flying Penguin.

APOX Open Beta

The APOX Website has news that open beta testing of APOX is now underway, offering the chance at some first-hand experience with this "real-time strategy game set in a near post-apocalyptic, Mad Max-esque universe." This page is where to register for the beta, which will be conducted through Steam, and is expected to run for about two weeks. Here's more on the game: "APOX is a real-time strategy game that uniquely includes gameplay concepts from first-person shooters. Like in a FPS, you can prone, crouch, switch active weapons, throw grenades, and loot corpses. Soldiers in APOX have limited ammo, but ammo sharing is done seamlessly. Soldiers can be placed in vehicles, and this essentially lets you create your own unit designs. APOX keeps everything that makes RTS great like making bases, controlling strategic sites, and managing your resources."

Arma II Patches

The Arma II Website now offers a new patch for Arma II: Operation Arrowhead to update the expanded military shooter sequel to version 1.57. In addition to bug-fixes and other changes, the update adds four new maps for free. The patch also updates the Private Military Company DLC, and there is also a separate version 1.01 patch for those who install Private Military Company after applying the version 1.57 patch. The version 1.57 patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls, the version 1.01 Private Military Company patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls, and the new version 1.57 dedicated server for Windows is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls; and the Linux dedicated server is mirrored on AtomicGamer and The Patches Scrolls.

OS X Two Worlds II

The Two Worlds II Website now offers the Mac OS X edition of Reality Pump's RPG sequel as a free download for those who own the Royal and Premium Editions of the game. These editions are still on sale, while a separate Mac version will also go on sale on January 25. OS X multiplayer support will go live tomorrow, and TopWare announces that the Windows and OS X editions will be multiplayer compatible upon the release of the upcoming Gold patch.

New openBVE Train Sim

The openBVE Homepage has the release of version 1.2.10 of openBVE, an open source, freeware train simulation. The new version adds support for plugins that can run under Windows Linux, and OS X, and this change log has all the details. Here's word on this hardcore sim: "openBVE includes detailed per-car simulation of the brake systems, friction, air resistance, toppling and more. In 3D cabs, the driving experience is augmented with forces that shake your simulated body upon acceleration and braking, as well as in curves. Besides that, openBVE features a 3D positional sound system best enjoyed with surround speakers, train exteriors and timetables for the current run."

Activision Suing EA over West and Zampella

Kotaku has more on the drama surrounding the departure of Vince Zampella and Jason West from Infinity Ward and Activision, saying Activision is planning on adding Electronic Arts to their lawsuit against West and Zampella. They quote a legal filing from Activision claiming EA attempted to foment insurrection in one of the Call of Duty developers: "Activision is informed and believes that the negotiations between Electronic Arts and West and Zampella were structured with the design and the expectation that West and Zampella would "spin out" from Activision and would take significant numbers of key Infinity Ward employees with them to set up their own independent company so that Electronic Arts could make another run at competing with Activision. Electronic Arts would finance the illicitly-created start-up in exchange for an ownership interest or exclusive distribution rights to the content created by their new company, which would produce video games for Electronic Arts instead of Activision." They follow this up with a comment from the attorney representing West and Zampella: "Activision's filing is a pathetic mash-up of false and reckless assertions, designed only to delay the march to justice for Jason West and Vince Zampella. But what else would you expect from a company that doesn't let the truth get in its way."

Diablo III Encounters

A new Diablo III Encounters article on Battle.net has some screenshots from Diablo III and an outline of how encounters will work in Blizzard's action/RPG sequel. They discuss how they are looking to expand player strategies beyond the choice between hacking and slashing: "One of our primary objectives for Diablo III is to make encounters with the grotesque beasts and demons of the Diablo universe even more tactically interesting than they've been in previous games. The challenge lies in doing that without removing the accessibility, speed, and forward momentum that the series is known for. Here's how we plan to accomplish that goal."

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Local power moguls Con Edison are working across the street for the third straight day this morning. The basic program seems to be digging a hole in the morning, which gets patched up in the evening so they can dig it up again the next morning. I'm not sure what, if anything, they are doing in-between, but luckily the couple of hours of jack-hammering each morning is not get-get-getting to me at all (*twitch*).

Twitchy Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Super Santa Kicker.
Arkandian Crusade.
Husk.
Links: Top 7 Coolest Cars Recalled in 2010.
Story: Pee-wee Herman Is Heading to HBO.
Images: Daily Afternoon Randomness (43 Photos). Thanks dakslf.
Lunar Eclipse 2010 PHOTOS.
Media: World of Warcraft- Life of a ninja.
OMG Cat.
Blizzard Opens Door and Fills House with Snow.
The Funnies: How different age groups celebrate Christmas - The Oatmeal.
Follow-up: MGM Restructure Complete.
FX Sets Justified Season 2 Return Date.



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