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Friday, Jan 14, 2011

  

King Arthur II Announced

Paradox Interactive announces King Arthur II, saying the fantasy/role-playing RTS "returns in a sequel set to push the boundaries of the genre even further." A King Arthur II Website is live with a teaser trailer, and here's a bit from the announcement:

King Arthur II will feature a new and dark fantasy setting. No longer a valiant ruler, King Arthur is now the Maimed King trying to mend a land almost beyond repair in a stunning new plot. More heroic, large scale battles with bigger armies are at reach to defeat more powerful foes. Intense boss fights never seen before promise to pit hero’s forces against unique and terrifying enemies. A new wide range of camera control options, revised animations and an extensive tutorial will provide for the ultimate gaming experience.

No Bulletstorm PC Demo

Epic Games and EA announce plans to release playable demos for Bulletstorm beginning on January 25. Noticeably absent from the announcement is any mention of a PC demo for this game that Mark Rein described as "a full-blown, oh-my-god amazing PC game." We contacted Epic about this and confirmed that at this time there are no plans for a PC demo, but Mark was not around to explain why this is the case.

Blacklight Sequel Free

Big Download has word from Mark Long of Zombie Studios on the previously announced sequel to Blacklight: Tango Down will be a free game, supported by microtransactions. "The full game will be free along with premium content that can be purchased in-game. Blacklight will feature a large number of improvements based on the player feedback we've gotten. And we hope going free-to-play will close that loop so we can respond even faster to player preferences," Long tells them. "So why go with the free-to-play/microtransaction business model? Long told us, "The free-to-play model is something we've been interested in since we first began working with Korean publishers four years ago. Free-to play is the model in Asia. It's exploding in China growing fast in Europe and emerging here in Facebook and iOS games."

Cross Platform Portal 2?

Press X or Die has word that Valve will soon be announcing that PC and PS3 gamers will be able to play co-op together on Portal 2. There is nothing in the report that indicates where this story originates. We contacted Valve for comment on this, but have not received a response. Thanks Mike Martinez.

IP Ownership Thwarted Respawn/THQ Deal

A story on Wired.com states that Respawn, Jason West and Vincent Zampella's new development studio "was within inches" of signing with THQ. They say the stumbling block was THQ's insistence on owning Respawn's intellectual property, which obviously lacked appeal to West and Zampella shortly after parting ways with Activision. As Zampella puts it: "As for the IP ownership, frankly, after what we’d just been through with Activision, owning the IP we were going to create was important to us. Unfortunately, THQ did not want to agree to that." Respawn is currently developing their IP for Electronic Ars. Thanks Computer and Video Games.

New Left 4 Dead 2 Mutation

The Left 4 Dead Blog has details on Riding My Survivor, this week's new community-created Left 4 Dead 2 mutation. Here's word on how this alters gameplay in the co-op zombie shooter: "This Versus Mutation is all about Jockeys. The Jockeys have increased health, speed and damage. The humans have increased hatred for the Jockey’s call. This community Mutation was created by Winded." Steam News has word on the automatic update with the new mutation, and more, as outlined in the patch notes below. Continue here to read the full story.

PC Monday Night Combat Delayed 1 Week

The Steam Users' Forums announce a launch date change for the Windows edition of Monday Night Combat, the multiplayer third-person shooter. Word is: "We've decided to change the launch date from January 17th to a week later on January 24th. We'd like to have a solid launch with more bug fixes and more time to polish as well as add some new content. The BETA will continue until we launch." Thanks Big Download.

The Old Republic Q&A and Ship Creation

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website has a new article on starship creation in BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG. They show off the design and development of ship exteriors and interiors, and offer a community Q&A answering questions about the game that are not restricted to ship design.

Evening Previews

  • Cities in Motion on GameZone.com.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on GameInformer. The Sounds Of Skyrim, including the participation of Jeremy Soule.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: IBM's Watson supercomputer destroys all humans in Jeopardy. Thanks Ant. "Who is Joseph Cotton? Giddee up!"

Legal Fallout Continues

The Fallout Wiki has the latest on the ongoing legal battle between Interplay and Bethesda Softworks over rights to use the Fallout name and to create a Fallout MMORPG. Word is today the court denied a motion by Bethesda to dismiss a counterclaim by Interplay, though Interplay has until February 7 to comply with a "motion to compel," with the judge saying: "Many of Interplay’s responses to Bethesda’s discovery requests – including many of its supplemental responses on the motion to compel - are boilerplate objections. These objections are not useful and the parties are urged not to use them." They outline various materials Interplay is required to produce, and describe how some of these involve trade secrets, and will only be shown to Bethesda's outside counsel. To recap, when Bethesda bought the Fallout rights in 2007, Interplay retained rights to create a Fallout MMORPG, and the two companies have been dueling things out in the courts since late 2009 over whether those conditions are being met, and exactly what rights Interplay retains to use Fallout intellectual property and the Fallout name in marketing the older games in the series.

Arx Fatalis Patch, Source Code Released

The Bethesda Blog announces the release of a new patch for Arx Fatalis, the first-person RPG developed by Arkane Studios. Word is: "The patch brings the game up to version 1.21, fixing stability on Windows 7 and Windows Vista machines, performance issues on Nvidia GPUs, and a number of other things that improve play in 2011." They are also now offering the game's source code under the GNU General Public License (GPL), though making use of this requires a full commercial copy of the game (which is still sold on Steam for $4.99 and on GOG.com for $5.99). The patch and the source code are both available for download on the Arkane Studios Website.

Gold - BREACH

Atomic Games announces that BREACH is gold, and this military-themed first-person shooter will be available for Windows and Xbox 360 on January 26. The announcement notes the game's Windows support: "Atomic is also detailing the Windows PC version of Breach which will launch in both download form and at major retailers. The Windows PC version will feature support for larger explosions, particle effects and more through NVIDIA® PhysX® technology. It will also feature a higher performance Hardcore Mode for players looking to play the way operatives train. As one final note for Windows PC gamers everywhere, Atomic listened and included dedicated server support, with remote administration." Here's a bit more on the game:

Breach is unlike any other game. It is the first military shooter to use precise and massive destruction to change the very nature of multiplayer combat. Combined with an advanced cover system where players can use cover even while it is being destroyed around them, Breach enables real-world tactics never possible before now. Breach offers this destruction and active cover system all in a package that costs less than US$20.00.

DC Universe Online Interview

The DC Universe Online interview on Eurogamer talks with SOE's John Smedley about their new superhero MMORPG. Along the way he promises monthly content updates: "The monthly subscription fee means players can expect a lot of new content from us. And I say a lot - I really mean that. This is something that we feel obligated to the players, because they are paying monthly sub fee." He also explains that Windows and PS3 could play together, except they haven't worked things out to accommodate this on their end: "Technically speaking it is. However, the servers are separated, and largely they're separated for business reasons. Practically speaking, on the PC, you have to have a Station Account. On the PlayStation 3 you have to have a PSN account. Things are separated mainly for those reasons. Actually, up until very recently, internally, everybody was playing on one sever together and it's actually quite fun."

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

  • Suit Up on DevianArt. Crysis 2 promo image. Thanks Kxmode.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

It Came from CES 2011, Part 15

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

One of the monitors in my dual-monitor setup is in the midst of a lingering death. It goes blank periodically, and at other times it flickers like a strobe. The irritating thing is this was a ridiculously expensive 30" dealie with a boatload of features that I made the mistake of buying right after it was introduced. This is from Gateway, a company that has never been known for their displays, and I should have just looked elsewhere when they told me they weren't selling extended warranties for this particular model (which they have since discontinued). One of these days I'm going to replace it with something that matches my other monitor, a 28" jobbie from HANNspree that cost 80% less than the Gateway did, and has performed perfectly.

Monitored Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Super Mega Bot.
Sticks. Thanks Daniel.
Tesla.
Links: Blockbusters ... in LEGO.
Food by State.
Stories: TV Survival Scorecard.
Images: It Makes You Type Really Dramatically at All Times.
My Favorite Nom-Fighters.
Media: How to remove snow from your roof. Katuse puhastus: Bad judgement.
Streaker fail.
The Funnies: Dilbert. Thanks dakslf.
Follow-up: Big Bang Theory Gets a Big Renewal.



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