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Thursday, Mar 03, 2011

  

Bungie's MMOG Confirmed

Confirming a rumor that surfaced a couple of weeks ago, Bungie lead network engineer David Aldridge called Bungie's next project a "massively multiplayer action game" during a Game Developers Conference panel discussion today, reports IGN. There are no further details at this point other than the game is not titled "WoW in Space." Thanks VG247.

Guild Wars II Thief Revealed

A trailer revealing the Thief class in Guild Wars II appeared briefly on the 'net today before disappearing like a thief in the night, but Eurogamer has word that ArenaNet unveiled this new class during their Guild Wars II presentation at GDC. They have word that this character has many of the characteristics you would expect including being especially dangerous when catching opponents off-guard, possessing the ability to hide in the shadows, and, you know, steal stuff. They say he can also dual-wield daggers, swords and pistols.

Guild Wars Patch Plans

Though they are busy developing Guild Wars II, ArenaNet is not done with the original Guild Wars, as an update on GuildWars.com announces plans for an update that includes Embark Beach as a new outpost to the Battle Isles, seven-player parties, and much more. Destination: Embark Beach gives an overview of the plan.

Civilization V Polynesia Pack

Steam announces the release of the promised Civilization and Scenario Pack: Polynesia for Civilization V. Here's word on the addition to the turn-based strategy sequel: "The Polynesian Scenario Pack brings you both the Polynesian Civilization and a new Scenario, Paradise Found. Rule the world as Kamehameha, unifier of Hawai’i, with your powerful navy and imposing Moai statues!"

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Interviews

There are a pair of new Deus Ex: Human Revolution interviews from a recent press event, one on GameBanshee and the other on AtomicGamer, each talking with Mary DeMarle, Lead Writer and Narrative Designer on Eidos Montreal's upcoming action/RPG prequel. The former discusses the relationships between the game's characters, economics, augmentations weapons, and more. The latter discusses characters (too), technology, the game's global conspiracy, anti-heroes, and more. There's also an implication in the AtomicGamer interview that they already have future "episodes" in this story planned.

Supreme Ruler Cold War Interview

The Supreme Ruler Cold War Video interview on YouTube is an in-house interview with David Thompson, lead designer on BattleGoat's upcoming geopolitical simulation sequel. David discusses the game's campaign, sandbox mode, multiplayer support, non-violent coercion, scope, real-time tactical combat, GUI, research, and more.

Painkiller: Redemption Patch

A new patch for Painkiller: Redemption redeems MindArk's first-person shooter to version 1.02a. The patch can be downloaded from AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, WorthPlaying, and here's the list of bugs it addresses. Continue here to read the full story.

Trapped Dead Patch

New patches are now available to update the English or German editions of Trapped Dead, bringing the zombie-themed survival/horror real-time strategy game to version 1.0.71.0. The English patch is available on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying and the German patch is available on Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls and WorthPlaying. The patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Cities in Motion Patches

Two new patches for Cities in Motion update the European mass transportation simulation to version 1.0.12 by way of version 1.0.11. The patches are available from AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and WorthPlaying, and both change lists follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Field of Glory Expansion and Patch

Matrix Games announces the release of Legions Triumphant, the fifth expansion for Field of Glory, the Roman Empire strategy game. The expansion is accompanied by a new patch updating the game to version 1.5.0, which is described like this: "Some new features coming in the 1.5.0 update include the release of the Digital Army Generator to all owners Field of Glory (including those who don't own any expansions!), new D.A.G. army lists especially for owners of Rise of Rome, and a few more new things." Here's word on the new expansion:

Field of Glory – Legions Triumphant covers the armies of the Roman Empire and its opponents from 25 BC to 493 AD: From the first Emperor, Augustus, until the final demise of the Western Roman Empire. Legions Triumphant lets you relive the glory years of Rome, when the Roman army became a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut, spreading the Empire across the known world. This is an essential companion to the Field of Glory experience. Choose to play as the Roman Legions and conquer the world, or try to change history by taking up the reins of one of Rome's enemies and defeating the greatest empire the world had ever seen.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: What Baseball Team Should I Root For? Thanks Michael.

Hardcore: Romero's Not Done With You

Reacting to Eurogamer's interpretation of his comments on VentureBeat from earlier today, John Romero tweets a clarification that he is not leaving the world of hardcore gaming behind for good:

I am not done making hardcore games, Eurogamer.

Battle: Los Angeles Announced

Konami Digital Entertainment officially announces Battle: Los Angeles, an upcoming first-person shooter revealed last month by a listing in the Australian Classification Database and some screenshots on the 1C Publishing Website. This is a tie-in with the movie of the same name that opens next week, and the game is expected next month for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Here's the description:

Developed by Saber Interactive and powered by the Saber 3D Engine, Battle: Los Angeles is a high-end fast and frantic first-person shooter game that will take players through a single player campaign that mirrors the upcoming feature film. Players will assume the role of a Marine fighting against a worldwide alien invasion that has the city of Los Angeles as the major battleground and focal point for the game. Players will battle unique and varied enemies, using an arsenal of weapons throughout the game like an assault rifle, sniper rifle, rocket launcher, frag grenades, and a turret gun as they navigate the streets of Los Angeles avoiding fierce and relentless attacks. Aside from high-caliber fire fighting combat, destructible environments have been included using the Havok Destruction Module, which will allow players to destroy scaffolding structures, vehicles and overpasses to eliminate enemy forces. With unlockable content, trophy support, and 5.1 surround sound, Battle: Los Angeles will pull players deep into the heart of the battle to save mankind.

Tropico 4 Delayed, Trailer

Kalypso Media announces the release of a new teaser trailer for Tropico 4, the El Presidente simulation sequel in development at Haemimont Games. The announcement also reveals the plan to release the game this August for Windows and Xbox 360, which represents a slight delay from the game's originally announced release window of Q2 of this year. They also reveal more details about the game, including Facebook and Twitter integration in the Windows version. Here's a bit on gameplay: "Tropico 4 will challenge players to negotiate with new global super powers, while dealing with interactive natural disasters and pushing through their own edicts via the new national council features. With 20 new missions spread over 10 new maps, players will spend dozens of hours crafting an island paradise, while sharing their successes via Twitter and Facebook." Here's the embedded version of the clip. Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Duty: Black Ops - First Strike Berlin Wall Trailer

A new "Berlin Wall" trailer from Call of Duty: Black Ops - First Strike shows off one the maps in the pack, which is eventually making its way to the PC edition of the military shooter sequel. The clip shows soldiers on either side of the wall singing alone to Wind of Change by German hard rock band Scorpions, an anthem about the end of the Cold War. The embedded version of the short clip follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel Details, Trailer

A new trailer for Call of Juarez: The Cartel is now available, offering a cinematic look at Techland's upcoming modern-day installment in this wild west shooter series. They also offer new details on the game, which will feature three central characters with individual stories and endings and support for three-player co-op. Word is: "Call of Juarez: The Cartel has a deep and gritty storyline that begins with a fictional drug cartel bombing a U.S. law enforcement agency, devastating the building and killing hundreds of people. The attack is a surprise, leading the U.S. to believe that cartel members had somehow infiltrated federal agencies. In a last-ditch effort, the U.S. puts together a special task force to hunt down and stop the drug cartel." Here are screenshots and artwork and the embedded version of the trailer follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Dawn of War II - Retribution Patched

Steam News announces the promised patch for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution is now automatically available, updating the just-released real-time strategy expansion. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Valve Announces Steam Guard

Valve Corporation announces a new Steamworks feature called Steam Guard, which sounds like a deodorant or an account security feature. It turns out to be the latter, as they say this "allows users to link management of their account to a specific PC. Attempts to modify or change account settings by any other PC won't be possible without the user's approval." They say Steam Guard, which will be available to third-party developers, will also support Intel's upcoming Identity Protection Technology, a hardware encryption scheme for 2nd Generation Intel Core CPUS that replaces the need for an external key generator. "Account phishing and hijacking are our #1 support issues," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "With Intel's IPT and Steam Guard, we've taken a big step towards giving customers the account security they need as they purchase more and more digital goods." As an aside, this is the first time we've seen Gabe referred to as Valve's President, as his title has always been Managing Director. We've inquired about this fairly unimportant distinction, but have yet to receive a reply.

On Loot Drop

VentureBeat has a profile of Loot Drop, the new social gaming developer recently formed by John Romero and Tom Hall. They say the company now has 11 employees, including recent addition Brenda Brathwaite, and their goal is to launch four games this year, with their first game due "in the coming months." It sounds like after helping create a couple of the most successful shooters in history (DOOM, QUAKE), as well as one of the genre's more notorious flops (Daikatana), The Romero is committed to more casual gaming: "We have satisfied hardcore gamers for decades. Now it’s time for the rest of the world. Our opportunity is to teach the rest of the world how to play games."

Homefront Preorders Soar, Studio May Move Anyway

Eurogamer follows up on a semi-recent report on Develop that shared fears at THQ-owned Kaos Studios that the Kaos staff will be forced to move from New York after Homefront ships to help staff THQ's planned Montreal studio. They discussed this with THQ's Danny Bilson, who did not rule it out, explaining it depends on how the game sells. "A lot of it has to do with how successful it is and how strong that core team comes out on the other side," he told them. "I love those guys. I've worked very closely with them on this game for years. There's nothing disrespectful going on at all. We're trying to do what's best for everyone." Providing reason for optimism, he does tell them Homefront is the most preordered game in THQ history, saying the first-person shooter has 200,000 preorders in the U.S. alone.

New Visceral IP Plans

A Gamasutra job listing from Visceral Redwood Shores reveals this EA-owned studio is seeking an Executive Producer for "a bold new IP that is heavily backed by EA leadership." This may be a console-only title from the Dead Space developer, as there is a platforms category that only mentions PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. There are no particulars about the nature of the project, but they express high hopes, referring to it several times as a AAA title, and listing one of this position's responsibilities as: "Grow the game into a successful franchise capable of multiple versions." Thanks VideoGamer.com.

Mytheon Launches

UTV True Games announces the official launch of Mytheon, their multiplayer action/RPG steeped in ancient mythology, celebrating the launch of the free-to-play game by offering a 25% discount on coins. This game was set for release last June but was delayed following the transfer of development from Petroglyph to UTV's internal studio after a lawsuit. Here's word on the game:

Players are invited to enter a mythological world where they must battle larger-than-life gods to define their own fate. Players assume the role of "Stonecasters" where their only path to victory against the gods lies in mastering and casting magical stones. The Stones bestow on their caster the power to summon mythological creatures from legends past and unleash dazzling spells on allies or opponents. The much-anticipated game also features traditional RPG elements such as hunting, quests, customization and other methods of leveling.

Minecraft and Red Dead Redemption Honored

Gamasutra offers the results of the 13th annual Independent Games Festival Awards, where Minecraft took the Audience Award as well as the Seumas McNally Grand Prize. They also have the results of the Game Developers Choice Awards where Minecraft was honored as Best Debut Game and also won the Innovation Award and Best Downloadable Game. The big winner in that competition was Red Dead Redemption, which took awards for Best Audio, Best Game Design, Best Technology, and Game of the Year.

Dawn of War II - Retribution Ships, Patch Plans

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution is now available in North American stores as well as via digital distribution, and the sci-fi real-time strategy expansion is due in Europe tomorrow (apparently some EU copies were unlocked early, but they have been relocked). Relic announces you can view your Retribution Stats on Steam, and also reveal plans for a patch that's expected today to address a number of bugs, which will bring the game to version 3.12. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Braben Still Wants Elite 4

Frontier Developments' David Braben conducted a postmortem of Elite at the Game Developers Conference, discussing the classic space combat game, notes PC Gamer. When asked about Elite 4, he says the possibility of another installment in the series lives after all these years. When asked if Elite 4 is "still on the table," he said: "Yes. It would be a tragedy for it not to be."

Obsidian's Licensed Game

An interview with Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart on Siliconera talks about Dungeon Siege III, the upcoming action/RPG sequel. They also note his comment that they "are working on another licensed property right now, that has not been announced," of which he says: "But, it’s a licensed property when we do announce it everyone is going to go ‘well, of course you had to make that game'." They speculate that this will be a Wheel of Time game, though arguably that has already been announced.

CrimeCraft: Bleedout Concludes Saturday

Machtpolitik, episode 10 of the Bleedout series in CrimeCraft launches this Saturday in the online shooter/RPG, announces Vogster Entertainment. The new episode offers an original story by Mike Kennedy and the art of Trevor Hairsine, and they also announce preorders of the BLEEDOUT hardcover graphic novel (they seem to be torn over whether this is Bleedout, BleedOut, or BLEEDOUT). Word is: "This final episode of season one has players chasing down a lost weapon of mass destruction before it destroys Sunrise City in one epic flash of nuclear fire. As the clock winds down, a new dawn emerges – one that will create a major shift in power." They also offer this trailer from the season finale.

Ruined Open Beta

Open beta testing of Ruined is now underway, offering a browser-based online tournament-style third-person shooter from Bigpoint set in the ruins of San Francisco "that pits players against one another in a competition to become the ultimate villain." Here's word from the announcement: "Created by a veteran game development team, Ruined.com boasts an array of impressive features – such as high-end graphics, effects, and audio – designed to appeal to hardcore gamers. Playable through any web browser, gamers can satisfy their craving for action anywhere they have access to an Internet connection."

Sphira: Warriors Dawn Coming West

Gameforge announces they are bringing Sphira: Warriors Dawn to North America and Europe, offering an MMO action/adventure game which will "challenge gamers to fight for their honor and glory against hordes of brutal enemies in over 1,400 fantasy quests." The game was developed Chinese studio Linekong, but features a more western style, as demonstrated in this batch of screenshots and concept art, and the Official Website features a trailer. Sphira is scheduled for release in the U.S., the U.K., and German speaking countries later this year, and in France, Spain, and Italy early next year. Here's word on the game: "Featuring rich, detailed landscapes and impressive graphics, Sphira: Warrior’s Dawn takes place on the frontlines of a war that has spanned eons between three hostile empires. Players will confront mythical creatures and meet Sphira, the Goddess of Fate, who will lead them on their path to becoming a legendary warrior."

Gary Grigsby's War in the East Patch

Matrix Games announces the availability of a new patch for Gary Grigsby's War in the East: The German-Soviet War 1941-1945 to update the turn-based World War II strategy game to version 1.03. The patch is available on this page, and word is: "Apart from fixing a gigantic number of bug fixes, highlights include the addition of Interdiction battles, Ground Support and Recon Escort air doctrine options were added, improved AI (with better decision making and some bug fixes), lots of data/scenario updates and rule changes, multiple GUI additions, and a bunch more."

DNF Uncut in Germany

Gearboxity announces that Duke Nuke Forever has been passed by the German rating board, saying the strict USK has not demanded any cuts to the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. Word is: "Germany's ratings board, the USK, has assigned Duke Nukem Forever an 18 rating with no cuts or edits. In other words, the German version will be uncensored! Additionally, the German version of Duke Nukem Forever will be playable in both German and English. Hail to the king, baby!" Thanks Duke Nukem Zone.

Op Ed

GameFront - Innovation, Innovation, Innovation.
There are some that applaud the game for being so innovative and subversive, when it’s really just a dreary, pointless exercise in pompous showboating. Some even try to argue that The Path is “not a game” — despite being available on game services such as Steam and commanding coverage from videogame media. Sounds like a game to me … a bad game, that attempts to cover up for its lack of quality by pretending to not be a game. INNOVATION!

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Screenshots

  • LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshots on Blue's News.
  • Unreal Engine 3 on Kotaku.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Rock, Paper, Shotgun notes that the entry on Old Man Murray was deleted from Wikipedia (thanks Ryan), which seems like a shame, and is a little inexplicable. They suggest this may have been part of someone's agenda, so perhaps this can still be remedied. I'm sympathetic, both as a huge OMM fan, and also because after surviving one nomination for deletion, this site's entry suffered "speedy deletion" the second time it was nominated. I never tried to add to the article myself, as that seemed tacky, so this is at least partly my fault, but it does seem odd that a site that offers "3,573,885 articles, and 23,384,576 pages in total" feels the need to remove articles in such a manner, it's not like it's an actual book that's getting too big to carry. Oh well.

Deleted Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Necrorun.
Flaming Zombooka 2 Level Pack.
Energy Physics.
Links: The Seven Deadly Sins of Gaming.
Dog Must Eat Standing Up.
Television Shows Out of Their Time. Thanks Neatorama.
Stories: Huge 'Game of Thrones' news- 'Dance With Dragons' publication date revealed.
Toymaker Produces Action Figures of Old Spice Guy, ‘Most Interesting Man’.
Images: Tropical Island Infinite Photo.
Mario versus the flagpole - animation.
Media: Sheen Wars - Darth Sheen doesn't have time for these clowns.
The 50 Greatest Opening Title Sequences of All Time. Thanks Dark Roasted Blend.
Follow-up: Third "Transformers" Trailer Debut Dates.
Robert Kirkman on 'Walking Dead' season two- 'You haven't seen anything yet'.
Anne Hathaway confirms she's Catwoman.



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