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Sunday, Mar 13, 2011

  

Dragon Age II Beta Patch

The BioWare Social Network now offers downloads of a PC-only beta version 1.01 patch for Dragon Age II, the just-released role-playing sequel. The patch fixes save game issues on single-core machines, the game asking for non-existent drives, release control issues where some players were unable to unlock correctly, and a Steam-specific issue related to VO not playing after switching languages. That last fix is a pretty odd one to include in this beta patch, since there's a footnote saying: "Steam does not support BETA patches. Steam users will have to wait for the final non-BETA patch before they can take advantage of these fixes. We're working on it but, unfortunately, this will not occur in time for the weekend." There is also a typical warning that users are applying a beta patch at their own risk. The patch is mirrored on Gamer's Hell and Strategy Informer.

Official EA Dragon Age 2 Follow-ups

Though the story of a player banned from playing Dragon Age II was settled when the ban was lifted, and we had a follow-up from BioWare in our forums to the accusations of SecuROM being present in Dragon Age II, we have now received statements on both issues from Electronic Arts. Here's what EA says about these issues:

Re: DRM in Dragon Age II:
Dragon Age II does not use SecuROM DRM. Any statements made to the contrary are false. The confusion stems from the use of Release Control which is also made by Sony. Release Control was employed to protect the game against usage prior to its release date. These are two different technologies with different purposes. Release Control in no way affects users’ rights to access after launch, and its executable automatically deletes itself once the Release Control process is finished. For more information, please visit: http://support.ea.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/4921.

Re: the account issue from one player at Social.BioWare.com:
EA strictly enforces the code of conduct at Social.BioWare.com. If a player violates the rules by using profanity, they will be temporarily banned. Unfortunately, there was an error in the system that accidentally suspended a user's entire account. Immediately upon learning of the glitch, EA took steps to restore the user's macro account and apologized for the inconvenience.

PC BioShock 2 Protector Trials Tomorrow

The Cult of Rapture has word that the Protector Trials DLC for BioShock 2 should be released for free tomorrow, which will presumably end a long saga that included plans for the Windows version of the DLC being scrapped and later revived, and an incident last month where it mistakenly appeared on the Games for Windows Marketplace. The announcement also has word that a patch will accompany the DLC release and that they are still working on the PC release of the Minerva's Den DLC. Here's the deal:

I'm happy to announce that the Protector Trials are headed to PC on March 14th - which means that on Monday morning, you'll be downloading away and back in Rapture. (And yes, the Protector Trials are completely free!) Monday will also bring a small patch that fixes, among other things, the mouse sensitivity issues many of you have reported (the full patch notes are below.) We're still working on Minerva's Den and I'll be making a similar announcement to this one as we get closer to a firm launch date for that pack.

Thanks again for your patience, and I look forward to hearing how you fare in the Trials.

Patch Notes

- Fixed unlocalized text in Customize Controls screen.
- Player mouse functionality no longer drops out when the Video Card Driver Warning appears.
- User.ini no longer overwritten when game loads. This should address mouse sensitivity issues as well as many v-sync option bugs.

Portal 2 ShakyCam Trailer

There is an especially shaky ShakyCam trailer of Portal 2 on HotHardware, offering a look at an expository sequence from Wheatley as well as some gameplay with accompanying audio from Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson (as played by character actor J.K. Simmons). The clip could arguably be considered a spoiler for those who want to experience the game's humor firsthand when Portal 2 is released next month.

Duke Nukem Forever ShakyCam Video

HotHardware has a video shot at this weekend's PAX East extravaganza showing Duke Nukem Forever being played on the show flow. This is a good example of bad ShakyCam footage, as most of the monitors are at an off angle, and the cameraperson's attention wanders readily, so the view jumps from monitor to monitor, but does offer a look at some weapons and enemies in action.

Homefront Launch Trailer

The Homefront launch trailer is posted on Joystiq, offering a look at the first-person shooter from Kaos Studios' that's due in North America on Tuesday. The clip shows the invasion of the U.S.A. by Korea as well as the ensuing resistance, all to the strains of Volunteers by Jefferson Airplane. Thanks VG247.

Guild Wars 2 Thief Info and Trailer

The Guild Wars 2 Thief Page is online, offering details on this recently revealed character class in ArenaNet's upcoming MMORPG sequel who hopes to steal your heart, along with anything else that isn't nailed down. They outline this class' special abilities like Stealth, Shadow Stepping, and Traps, as well as more details on thief gameplay. There are also some screenshots, and a brief new gameplay trailer showing a couple of agile maneuvers and some pistol dual-wielding from a sexy female bandit.

Bunch of Heroes Trailer

The Bunch of Heroes Website now offers the "explosive" GDC Trailer from this top-down co-op shooter in the works at independent Argentinean developer and publisher NGD Studios. Here's word: "Showcased for the first time at GDC 2011, this new trailer reveals the final design of the main characters, all-new game features including competitive gameplay modes and new locations such as the World War Cemetery and even Mars!" Bunch of Heroes is due via digital distribution in the second quarter of this year.

King Arthur II Video Interview

This King Arthur II Developer Video Interview hears from Neocore's Orsolya Tóth, who highlights some of the new features in Neocore's role-playing wargame sequel. She discusses the game's goals, improvements in their new engine, new features, a new spell casting system, a diplomacy system, new enemies, and more.

Call of Pripyat Complete

Mod DB and artistpavel.com now offer downloads of Call of Pripyat Complete, a modification for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, GSC Game World's first-person shooter sequel (thanks DON3K and A51Abductee). The download is mirrored on AtomicGamer, and here's word on what this is all about:

Call of Pripyat Complete is the third entry in the Complete mod series, which is a set of modifications created by professional artists dedicated to enhancing the production quality of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series. The Complete mods emphasize on improving the original graphics, sound, and atmosphere of each game while preserving the core game elements.

Just the PAX, Ma'am, Part 1

On Sale

The Spring Break Sale on Direct 2Drive gives 20% off when you use the code "hangover" at checkout. The 5th Anniversary Sale on GamersGate offers a huge selection of games up to 75% off.

  • Napoleon: Total War Imperial Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Total War Collection Pack on Steam. Save 50%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Steam Top 10

Here's Valve's List of the 10 bestselling titles on Steam for the past week:

  1. Dragon Age II
  2. Total War: SHOGUN 2
  3. Portal 2
  4. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Retribution
  5. Crysis 2
  6. Total War Collection Pack
  7. Mafia II: Digital Deluxe Edition
  8. Magicka
  9. Mafia II
  10. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Sunday Previews

Sunday Screenshots

Sunday Consolidation

Sunday Mobilization

Sunday Tech Bits

Sunday Metaverse

Sunday Safety Dance

Sunday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • ECO Sound Engineering V268 Wireless Bluetooth Headset on Test Freaks.
  • GIGABYTE GA-E350N-USB3 Motherboard on EPIAcenter. In German.
  • Koribo Leira, Vivar and Mini Keyboard Roundup on Neoseeker.
  • LG M2380D-PZ Monitor on TecCentral. In German.
  • LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i 6G on The SSD Review.
  • Roccat KONE [+] Mouse on Technic3D.

etc.

Out of the Blue

So now Daylight Saving Time is here. As always, I hate losing an hour, but do like the later sunsets. This also offers a rare answer to the oft-asked question of "where does the time go?" In this case, the answer is, well, nowhere. Now we know.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Soldier Survival.
Zombie Physics.
HedgeHood Games.
Stories: Is Daylight Saving Time Bad for Your Health? Thanks Slashdot.
U.S. Declares Eastern Cougar Extinct. Sad.
Science: Have scientists found Atlantis.
Renewable heating scheme unveiled.
Laser scan for Stonehenge secrets.
Image: Fan catches bat, saves beer. Thanks Neatorama.
Media: Half in the Bag: a new Redlettermedia webseries. NSFW.
The Chronicles of Rick Roll. Thanks Randall.
The best video game review ever. NSFW.
The Funnies: Brevity.
FoxTrot.
Follow-ups: The Scariest Earthquake Is Yet to Come.
Expert: Japan’s radiation could spread to U.S.
Difficult decisions ahead on Mars.
Revenge of Nadine- The Episode III Review Epilogue. NSFW.



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