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Wednesday, Mar 02, 2011

  

Saints Row: The Third Announced

THQ and Volition officially announce Saints Row 3, which is actually titled Saints Row: The Third, saying the upcoming continuation of this open-world action series is due for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 this holiday season. As suspected, they promise the first real details about the sequel in the cover story in the April Game Informer magazine, which is shipping to subscribers "early" this month. For now, all they are offering is a slight dig at the rival Grand Theft auto franchise: "Saints Row: The Third puts you on top of the world, right at the beginning of the game, with all the perks that go along with being the head of an elite criminal organization," said Danny Bilson, THQ Executive Vice President, Core Games. "There’s no delivering pizza, no shuttling family members about in a long series of taxi missions. Instead, you take all the power of the Third Street Saints and you take the world by storm."

Universal Monsters Announced

Bigpoint announces plans for Universal Monsters, a browser-based multiplayer game based on the classic Black & White monster movies created by Universal Studios back in the day, including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, and more. Like their previously announced The Mummy Online, the game will be built using the Unity 3D platform. Neither game yet carries a release date, but they do say that early production on both games began in February. Word is:

Universal Monsters, based on Universal’s legendary gallery of monsters, will enable fans to experience the world through characters such as Frankenstein’s Monster and Dracula as they exact their horrifying revenge. Based on one of the highest grossing film franchises of all time, The Mummy Online will center on the trilogy’s second installment, The Mummy Returns, and allow players to experience adventures in 1930’s Egypt.

Alice: Madness Returns in June

Alice: Madness Returns has an official release date, reports Computer and Video Games, saying the sequel to American McGee's Alice is due on June 14th. They checked the game out at the GDC, and say American McGee promises "a deep and rich combat system that will test the powers of Alice's imagination."

Arcania - Fall of Setarrif Website, Trailer

The Arcania - Fall of Setarrif Website is now live, promoting the standalone expansion for ArcaniA - Gothic 4, which is due later this month. This is accompanied by the release of a new trailer showing off a bit of gameplay, including a snippet of dialogue (such as it is), which has not been translated from the original German. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Homefront Invades USA... With Balloons

THQ is catching some flack for a Game Developers Conference promotional stunt for Homefront that involved the release of hundreds of red helium balloons over San Francisco, reports CNET, saying residents are particularly upset over balloons that ended up in the bay. The balloons carry the GameStop logo, and so the game store has borne the brunt of the blowback on this, but they have stated they were not aware such a promotion was happening, which was later confirmed by THQ. GameStop also says they were told these are "soy-based, biodegradable balloons," and THQ has also said the balloons are biodegradable, though they did not mention the soy part (latex is also biodegradable). "The balloons released at the Homefront rally event today were made from a 100 percent organic product and are 100 percent biodegradable," THQ said in a statement. "The balloons have no history of causing any environmental pollution on land or in water. Although we're confident that there will be no harm to the environment, we've retained a cleanup crew to remove any potential lingering debris. This was a THQ sponsored promotion and GameStop had no involvement, whatsoever."

Quote of the Day II

"PC gaming is alive, well, vibrant and in good health. PC gaming is not dead." -- Microsoft's Kev Gee.

Sony's Move.Me for PC

PlayStation Blog has word that Sony is planning to release an application to facilitate PlayStation Move programming on the PC, opening options for academics and hobbyists. Unlike Microsoft's plans for a Kinect SDK, this will be for PS3 development, as word is: "In short, Move.Me is a server application that runs on the PS3 system. It allows anyone with a PS3 to experiment with motion controls and is officially sanctioned and supported by Sony Computer Entertainment. Move.Me sends the complete state of the PlayStation Move and navigation controllers to the PC, giving you the exact same data that licensed developers typically have access to." Thanks Computer and Video Games.

On Sale

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Into the Black

Link of the Day: Jeff Bridges Movie Mash Up Of The Day. NSFW. Thanks Ant.

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood DRM Clarification

The quote from last week about the DRM is Assassin's Creed Brotherhood saying "The PC version of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, after an initial login, will be playable offline in single player mode," was widely interpreted to mean the game would require one online connection every time you played. Then Verno pointed out a tweet by Gabriel Graziani that said this about authentication: "Once after install... then offline play will be available to you." We contacted Ubisoft and confirmed that the stealth/action sequel will only need a single online authentication, after which the single-player campaign will always be available.

Crysis 2 Multiplayer Trailer

Here's a new trailer from the just released multiplayer demo for Crysis 2, Crytek's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. The clip shows the demo's two game maps, two game modes, five classes, nine weapons, and the kind of mayhem that ensues when you put them all together. Here's the embedded version. Continue here to read the full story.

Cross-Platform Dungeon Defenders

Reverb Publishing and Trendy Entertainment announce their plans for Dungeon Defenders at the Game Developers conference, saying they will be showing the upcoming Unreal-engine tower defense & action/RPG hybrid supporting play between Windows, PlayStation 3, iOS, and Android. "We’re doing things now that we’ve dreamed about doing for years," said Jeremy Stieglitz, COO and co-founder of Trendy Entertainment. "The industry is inevitably moving towards platform-agnostic interconnectivity for multiplayer and anytime/anywhere access to in-game content. Companies have trained us to expect such access with our music, our photos and any online media, pretty much everything. It's only natural for us to give gamers the ability to play Dungeon Defenders online, anywhere they want, whatever their platforms of choice."

Mount&Blade With Fire & Sword Trailers

Paradox has released three new videos for Mount&Blade With Fire & Sword (shouldn't that be Fire&Sword?), as they show off Taleworlds' upcoming action/RPG sequel at the Game Developers Conference. There is a new Ambience Trailer with a serene view of the game's environments, at least until the smiting starts about halfway through. There's also a new Action Trailer, which gets down to business more quickly, showing combat with guns, swords, lances, axes, and arrows. Finally, there's a developer interview where producer Mikail Yazbeck discusses the game's setting in 17th century Europe, the impact of the addition of gunpowder, the game's historical elements, a new troop system, customization, replayability of the single-player campaign, the large number of players the Warband engine allows in multiplayer, multiplayer modes, the variety of maps, and more.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Trailer

This new trailer shows off The Da Vinci Disappearance for Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, the console DLC that will be included in the upcoming Windows edition of Ubisoft's stealth/action sequel. The clip reveals the environment and new characters this includes, and here's a bit on the plot: "After the fall of the Borgias in Rome, Leonardo Da Vinci is kidnapped by the Hermeticists, an underground cult dedicated to transforming mankind. Ezio will embark on a relentless quest to recover stolen paintings in order to find Leo before it is too late, discovering two new locations and two new gameplay features along the way." The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Scrolls Announced

The Scrolls Website is online, revealing plans for Scrolls, an upcoming collectible card-based game from Mojang, the new studio formed by Minecraft developer Notch. The game is being designed by Jakob Porser, and Kotaku (thanks nin) says it will feature the writing of Penny Arcade's Jerry "Tycho" Holkins. Notch and Porser have apparently been discussing this project for the past five years, and here's how it is described:

Scrolls is Mojang's next game and offers a new and unique game play where you fight to outmaneuver your opponent on the battlefield using the destructive powers in your collection of magical scrolls. Tear your opponent limb from limb with the might of your summoned armies, lay waste to the defenses with the obliterating power of your siege weapons or open up the very skies and let bolts of lightning shower his minions until only ash remains. The road to victory is yours to choose. Obtain the powerful scrolls and decide which ones you will take to battle as you fight to become the mightiest Magician of all.

APB-Reloaded Beta Begins

The APB-Reloaded Blog announces that the first "mini-wave" of beta invites for the online open-world reboot went out overnight to about 2500 candidates, saying these went to "US and/or West Coast (but not ONLY West coast) players that met certain minimum requirements." Here's word on their goals to add more testers: "The current plan is to slowly increase the CCU count (simultaneously connected players) from a few hundred (what it is now) to just over 2,000 simultaneous players this week (which means close to 20,000 actual invitees). If THAT holds up fine, then the next really big wave is to go to 100,000 players and 10,000 simultaneous - though that leap might take a bit longer."

Strategic Command The Great War and Demo Released

Battlefront.com now offers online sales of Strategic Command World War I: The Great War 1914-1918, Fury Software's World War I grand strategy game. Here's the scoop on the game: "Strategic Command World War I: The Great War 1914-1918 provides you with the opportunity to re-write history in a war that [not only] changed the destiny of Europe but of the whole world. To win, you must manage your resources wisely, incorporate diplomacy and shrewd decisions, invest in technological research, and apply sound warfare strategies. Will you lead your forces to total victory, or ultimately fail and fall to bitter defeat?" The release is supported by a new demo, which is available on this page, and mirrored AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and WorthPlaying.

Battlefield 3 Trailer

Fault Line Episode 1: "A Bad Part of Town" (NSFW) is a new gameplay trailer from Battlefield 3, DICE's upcoming first-person shooter sequel. The clip shows some action in an urban environment along the Iraq/Iran border in 2014, including a firefight, the dragging of a wounded comrade, and a carpet f-bombing. The clip is accompanied by three new BF3 screenshots, and the embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Operation Flashpoint: Red River Trailers

There's a new trailer on YouTube for Operation Flashpoint: Red River, Codemasters' upcoming military shooter sequel. The clip is called "JDAM Gameplay Highlight Video #2," but there's not much gameplay, as it depicts a commander calling in a JDAM strike and shows the ensuing explosion. The #2 part lead us to the Operation Flashpoint: Red River - Gameplay Highlight Video #1, a very short clip showing some mortar strikes. Thanks GreyViper.

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

Battle.net lists new hotfixes for World of Warcraft, Blizzard's MMORPG. It seems like the pace of these server-side updates is slowing, as there are only a couple of changes listed this time around. Thanks Ant.

Storm over the Pacific Patch, Sale

Matrix Games announces the release of a new patch for Storm over the Pacific, updating this World War II grand strategy game to version 1.05. They say: "the comprehensive 1.05 patch comes with a number of bug fixes and improvements including an improved PBEM system that allows players to automate decisions in events, added penalties for skipping too many islands in Pacific Campaign, the Carrier Air Strike range on land and air units is now presented and working correctly, and more." They also announce that the game is on sale for a limited time, with both the boxed and digital editions carrying a $20.00 discount.

Quote of the Day

"If a lost sale is so bad, should bad reviews be illegal? What about missed release dates?" Minecraft developer Notch on piracy and "lost sales." Thanks Joao.

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