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Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011

  

IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover Announced

1C and Ubisoft announce IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover, a new installment in the IL-2 series of combat flight simulators planned for release in March. The Eric Johnson-free game is set during World War II's Battle of Britain, and in addition to a standard edition, there will also be a Collector's Edition with a cloth map, a replica of the Pilotís Notes on the Spitfire I, and a 150-page ring binder of pilot instructions. A feature list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Cannon Fodder 3 Announced

GFI announces Cannon Fodder 3, an action game sequel in development for Windows and Xbox 360. The game doesn't yet carry a release date, and details are pretty scant at this point, but according to VG247 the game is currently only planned for release in Russia. The announcement follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - King Arthur: The Druids

Paradox Interactive announces the release of King Arthur: The Druids via digital distribution, offering an expansion King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame (which is required). Word is: "this latest expansion features a stand-alone story with a vastly different ruler. Integrating a new campaign, heroes, monsters, special units and unique skills this real-time strategy expansion will challenge your skills and delight your gaming senses." Here's a new trailer from the add-on, which is available from eptiSoft, GamersGate, Games Planet, Game Streamer, and PC Game Store.

Chimera Pack DLC for R.U.S.E.

Steam News announces the release of The Chimera Pack DLC for R.U.S.E., adding new content to the RTS game. The pack was supposed to be released for the PC in December, but some unexplained complication has delayed it until now.

Free Digital Eel Soundtrack

Digital Eel is now offering VooDoo Interface for free, offering this official 14-track game soundtrack compilation in your choice of formats, including 320k mp3 and FLAC. The album includes tunes from Dr. Blob's Organism, Big Box of Blox, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space, and Brainpipe: The Plunge to Unhumanity, as well as album art and "secret goodies." While this is being offered completely free, they will also gladly accept donations from those so inspired.

EVE Online Patched

The EVE Online Website announces the new version 1.1.0 of EVE Online Incursion is now available. The new version of CCP's sci-fi MMORPG offers updates to the EVE Contracts system and a new Character Creator. The patch notes have all the details.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: STFU Pest Control. NSFW. Thanks Ant.

New NVIDIA Reference Drivers

The NVIDIA Website and GeForce.com now offer new version 266.58 reference drivers for GeForce graphics cards. The new drivers offer performance improvements for GeForce 400 and 500 GPUs for several games, add SLI profiles for several games, install updated HD Audio and PhysX drivers, and more. There are new drivers for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista 64-bit, Windows 7 64-bit, and Windows XP 64-bit. Thanks Wookiestick.

No Dynamic Difficulty in Deus Ex: Human Revolution

PC Gamer has a clarification on how difficulty levels will work in Deus Ex: Human Revolution based on interviewing David Anfossi, producer on the upcoming action/RPG prequel. Contrary to reports, David tells them the game will use standard difficulty levels, and will not scale according to the player's experience. "I donít know who said that, but that person was either drunk or doesnít work here," he tells them. "No. We have three difficulty settings: Easy, Normal and Hard. Thereís no adaptation of the difficulty at all, we donít have anything like that."

Cross Platform Portal 2 Confirmed

Valve confirms last week's report that Portal 2 will support cross platform play between Windows, OS X, and PS3, while offering details on Steamworks support for the PS3 edition of the first-person puzzle/platformer. Word is:

January 18, 2011 -- Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced the Steam features shipping with the PlayStation 3 (PS3) version of Portal 2.

Marking the debut of Steam functioning on any next generation console, the features shipping in the PS3 version of Portal 2 include cross platform play (PC/Mac vs. PS3) for multiplayer games, persistent cloud-based storage of PS3 saved games, and cross platform chat (PC/Mac and PS3).

In addition, those who purchase Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 may unlock a Steam Play (PC & Mac) copy of Portal 2 at no additional cost by linking their PSN and Steam accounts.

"We made a promise to gamers at E3 that Portal 2 for the PlayStation 3 would be the best console version of the product," said Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve. "Working together with Sony we have identified a set of features we believe are very compelling to gamers. We hope to expand upon the foundation being laid in Portal 2 with more Steam features and functionality in DLC and future content releases."

"We designed the Portal 2 PS3 experience to be very straightforward for gamers," said Josh Weier, project lead on Portal 2 at Valve. "PS3 gamers will be able to simply drop the Blu-Ray disc in the PS3, link to their Steam account from inside the game, and all their Steam friends (on PC and Mac) will be visible and accessible for chat and game invites."

These features are made possible thru the use of Steam, Valve's platform for the delivery and management of games and digital content.

Portal 2 is due for release on the PlayStation 3, PC, Mac and Xbox 360 this April.

For more information, please visit www.thinkingwithportals.com

Time of Fury Announced

Matrix Games announces Time of Fury, a new multiplayer strategy offering from Wastelands Interactive they describe as the "definitive WWII wargame." The game should be released this spring, and in the meantime accepting applications to become a beta tester. Here's word on the game:

Time of Fury spans the whole war in Europe and gives players the opportunity to control all types of units, ground, air and naval. Not only that, each player will be able to pick a single country or selection of countries and fight his way against either the AI or in multiplayer in hotseat or Play by E-Mail. This innovative multiplayer feature will give player the chance to fight bigger scenarios against many opponents, giving the game a strategic angle that has no equal in the market. The game uses Slitherineís revolutionary PBEM++ server system.

Iron Grip: Marauders Open Beta

ISOTX announces that Iron Grip: Marauders is now in open beta, offering the opportunity to go hands-on with this turn-based strategy game that's played in a browser that they've dubbed an SBBG (Strategy Based Browser Game). The free-to-play game uses the Unity engine for a fully 3D experience. The beta is live, but they are still planning improvements. "We still have many ideas for new units and features. Over the next months, we will try to work these out and implement them into the game. So, stay tuned for news updates," says Creative Director Vincent van Geel.

Police Quest and Zork on GOG.com

GOG.com announces they are now offering a bundle of the Police Quest series, which includes DRM-free versions of Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel, Police Quest 2: The Vengeance, Police Quest 3: The Kindred, and Police Quest: Open Season. They also announce they are carrying Zork Anthology, a collection of Zork I, Zork II, Zork III, Beyond Zork, Zork Zero, and Planetfall. Just be sure to keep the lights on, or you are likely be eaten by a Grue.

Dominions 3 Patches

Shrapnel Games now offers new patches for Dominions 3: The Awakening to update the Windows, OS X, and Linux editions of the fantasy-themed 4X strategy game to version 3.26. Word is: "Version 3.26 of the game may not bring you breakfast in bed or tell you you're special, but it's still a pretty freaking awesome patch. You need this patch. You want this patch. Go get this patch." The patch notes (Adobe Acrobat format) have all the details, and some highlights follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris Patch

This page offers a new patch for Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris that brings the World War II strategy game to version 1.04d. Here's the deal on the new version: "The comprehensive 1.04d update improves load times of scenarios and gives status messages during the loading of a game. Also gives details on structural damage to bridges and fortifications, fixes ZOC bug after Belgium and Netherlands surrender, and some other rare bugs." There are further details in this update.

Op Ed

We Hate This Ad Campaign - AtomicGamer. (We do too.)
One of the big issues that noted hater and lawyer Jack Thompson had with game publishers was that they were marketing these products to minors despite the M ratings from the ESRB. Well, don't these videos seem like they're trying to sell the game to kids? I mean, if you're twenty-something and living on your own, you donít need to care whether your mom approves of you playing a violent game anymore. To me, this footage is mostly targeted towards teens, possibly those who are too young to actually buy the game. Then thereís the fact that this footage, seen in the videos and reacted to by the mothers, is available on YouTube without any kind of age gate or age verification - thatís in direct violation of what the ESRB demands of the publishers they work with, and itís in violation of what the ESRB has asked of us at AtomicGamer directly (specifically, in regard to posting all-ages footage and trailers of a game whose final product was rated M).

Games On Net - Devil's Advocate - TF2 Is Dead, Long Live TF2.
The fact that this language of Team Fortress 2 was easy to master is what made it so successful. But now this language is polluted, filled with hundreds of new hats, weapons, unlocks and other adjectives, all pouring out of the Valve so fast that itís impossible to keep up. Now instead of rounding a corner, bumping into an enemy, and knowing instantly by their silhouette exactly what they are and what you should do in response, youíre faced with a dilemma. What hat are they wearing? Is it one of those hats that is part of an item set? Do they have all the items in the set, and what bonus does that set give? What weapon are they holding? What does it do? By the time youíve pawed clumsily through your mental dictionary to find out exactly what it all means, youíve been shot in the face and youíre dead. GG.

Smart Speak - Newsflash! Youíre All Screwed.
You have to ask yourself what is the point of blowing North of $20M on a project if you stand absolutely NO chance of making that money back. But most are still doing it. And itís not like the projects actually cost that much to make. No, the issue is that some of these numbers are due to the large cost overheads and marketing of these projects. Give an experienced indie $10K to make an innovative dream game and heíll knock your socks off. But why do that when you can just give 100+ people $20M and hope they actually come up with something? Thatís the logic for you and the primary reason why today the indie movement is running circles around mainstream development. Most are the unsung heroes who donít have two pennies to rub together, let alone have a marketing budget; but guess what? Theyíre making money and are having tons of fun doing it.

GameZone - Why You Should Be Playing Minecraft.
Minecraft is the perfect antidote to the modern gaming blues. There are no tutorials. In standard gameplay modes, there are rules, and there are dire consequences for ignoring those rules. Digging recklessly can land you with a face full of lava or a drop through the bottom of the world, and in both cases, every item you were carrying will be permanently lost. Thereís nothing that canít be regained or rebuilt, but on the flip side, you can carry a lot of stuff.

Alganon PvP Progress

An update on the Quest Online Website by Derek Smart outlines progress on PvP support in Alganon, Quest Online's free-to-play MMORPG. The post discusses the imminent launch of Phase III of PvP support, the difficulty of adding this feature to a PvE game, plans for improved graphics, and a sidetrack into Derek's obsession with tracking down negative comments about himself or his work on the internet for refutation, and his willingness to ban disruptive members of their forums.

OverDose Mod Tools

The OverDose Website now offers the free release of the tools being used to create OverDose, a modification of id Software's Tech 2 engine (QUAKE II). Word is: "While these tools were built for OverDose use, they can be used in other situations for modding other games." Thanks Joao.

StarCraft II MMOG Mod

The World of StarCraft forums has information on a StarCraft II modification that will turn Blizzard's real-time strategy sequel into an MMOG. This trailer offers pre-alpha footage of the mod in action. Thanks PC Gamer.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

It Came from CES 2011, Part 17

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

We got more winter weather here this morning, as a couple of inches of wet snow fell around dawn. Unfortunately this was not enough to cause MrsBlue a day off, so I had to dig out the car to get her to the train station. At least I've got it over with, though there's always more snow where that came from.

Wet Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Arm of Revenge.
Tealy and Orangey.
Links: Best of Ricky Gervais Pissing People Off.
Starbucks Trenta, Illustrated: How The New Size Compares To The Human Stomach.
Stories: Scotch Whisky in a Can Contains Eight Shots of Liquor.
The Fantastic Sinking Boat. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Caligula's tomb found after police arrest man trying to smuggle statue.
Science: Turns out that music really is intoxicating, after all.
Images: Zombie Food Pyramid. Thanks Joker961.
Home Made Munchkin Proposal.
Fake Science - The New Zodiac.
Media: Kitteh, Slayer of Dragons.
Follow-up: No. 2 bank overcharged troops on mortgages.
Liam McIntyre is the new Spartacus. I am Spartacus!



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